For many young people, careers advice delivered in the classroom can be dry and dull, and lacks inspiration.
One way to help your pupils make choices for their future is to book a free visit to The Skills Show. Held at the NEC Birmingham from 19 to 21 November, the event is the UK’s largest free experiential skills and careers event, with 75,000 people expected over the three days of the event. Visitors have the chance to try and gain hands-on experience of various different skills, as well as meeting a broad range of employers, training providers and FE colleges to discuss real life opportunities and routes to work.
“The Skills Show is a unique showcase for vocational education, skills and careers,” explains Ross Maloney, Chief Executive of Find a Future which co-ordinates the event. “It gives visitors the chance to discover what they are good at and what they enjoy. It provides a wide range of activities to try, from engineering to web design and hairdressing, alongside information and advice for young people of all ages – all with the aim of sparking their imaginations and turning their vision into a reality.”
Visitors also have the chance to ‘Have a Go’ at a wide variety of work-based skills, get impartial advice from careers professionals and speak to a range of employers, colleges and training providers. Spotlight stages across the event allow visitors to get an insider’s view of different industries, hearing from “real people doing real jobs”. College students from across the UK also inspire and entertain visitors with Showcase demonstrations and performances across a wide range of work-based skills. Representatives from leading employer brands, including BAE Systems, Jaguar Landrover, O2 and Toyota, as well as both the National Careers Service and National Apprenticeship Service are on hand to discuss training and employment opportunities.
As Mr Maloney explains, a visit to The Skills Show can also help teachers to fulfil several statutory curriculum requirements, as well as furthering their own personal development: “By attending The Skills Show, teachers will find the support they need to help fulfil Ofsted’s Careers Statutory Guidance in a fun, engaging way which pupils remember. Our research has shown that the interactions we provide with employers are a key benefit to those who attend, and can be the first step on the road to a meaningful career.
“It is worth pointing out that the benefits from a visit to The Skills Show are not confined solely to the students attending: teachers, too, can gain hugely from a class visit to the event. A broad range of special events, exhibition features and conferences provide an opportunity for teachers to learn from and network with peers, while a dedicated Careers Education Zone provides information and advice for those looking to continue this provision in the classroom.”
Visits to The Skills Show are free, and limited numbers of travel bursaries are available on a first-come, first-served basis to assist those travelling particularly long distances, who have attended in previous years or those happy to visit later in the day. Large groups are welcome to attend, and free parking is available for coaches.