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Local students can learn more at careers fairs

23 October 2019

Young people will have the chance to learn more about their future in the working world through two special careers fairs next month.

The events have been organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council in direct partnership with local schools to give Year 10 and 11 students the chance to engage with businesses from all sectors.

They will take place in Foyle Arena on Thursday, November 7th from 9.30am-3.30pm, and Melvin Hall on Tuesday, November 19th from 9.30am-3pm, with almost 2,000 pupils from 14 different schools signed up for the interactive fairs.

The Council’s Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) has two key education and skills based actions that focus on addressing ways to ‘increase industry engagement in careers advice and guidance’ and to ‘promote the importance of educational pathways and the apprenticeship framework’.

In line with this, the Council have worked in liaison with the principals and Head of Careers of each school involved through the Learning Communities, which were established to promote post primary collaboration, to deliver these unique pilot careers fairs.

It will be an informal setting on the day which will provide an interactive platform for students to talk to potential employers, improve their networking skills and sharpen their interpersonal skills, whilst linking their current studies with real life job opportunities. Meanwhile, employers involved will have a valuable platform to advertise their sector to students and increase overall awareness of the vast array of jobs and career paths available.

There will be 27 businesses in attendance covering various sectors, including manufacturing and engineering, digital industries, life health and sciences, creative industries, as well as apprenticeships, entrepreneurships and volunteering.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, said the fairs are a brilliant chance for students to speak directly with employers about what interests them.

“Evidence shows that exposing children to the world of work early on has a significant impact on their aspirations, motivation and confidence. It helps broaden their horizons, challenge stereotypes and gives them the opportunity to connect their learning with their future.

“Therefore, these careers fairs will hopefully inspire the next generation of Year 10 and 11 pupils to explore jobs that interest them and offer them a realistic insight into what work exists now, and potentially in the future.”

John Healy, Managing Director and Vice President of Allstate Northern Ireland, who are supporting the fairs, agreed that it will provide an ‘excellent opportunity’ for the youth in the district.

“With the pace of change in technology and related industries, it’s very difficult to stay informed of career opportunities.

“The NW career fairs provides an excellent opportunity for students, teachers and parents to learn about the wide variety of roles, opportunities, careers, and what skills and qualifications that will lead to a bright career ahead,” explained Mr Healy. “Allstate NI employs over 1,000 people in the North West and will be showcasing the wide variety of roles on offer.  By demonstrating the variety of technology used and roles available we hope to inspire the youth of today to consider Allstate as a career destination.

“Skills of the future include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, R&D, Telematics, Responsive app design and User Experience in the development of cutting-edge solutions that help protect our customers.  I would encourage you to come along and hear how you could make a difference on a global stage.”