Swansea and NPT pupils learn skills for the future at Wales’ largest Careers Festival, held at Bay Campus

More than 2,000 year 10 pupils from Swansea and Neath Port Talbot tried their hands at plumbing, robotics and circus activities at the Careers Festival, Wales’ largest careers fair today (Thursday, June 23), held at Swansea University’s new science and innovation Bay Campus.

Careers Wales Festival 2016 - 2The event, organised by Careers Wales in partnership with Swansea University’s Student Recruitment Team, School of Management Careers Team, and hosted by the School of Management, was aimed at promoting the range of careers available to young people and giving them first-hand experience of a variety of job sectors.

16 secondary schools from the area had access to more than 100 exhibitors giving advice and support on careers, jobs, skills in the workplace, and an insight into industry.

They also had the chance to take part in interactive activities related to different jobs, including wall plastering, plumbing and construction activities, circus workshops from Circus Eruption, a wind turbine competition, and a Batak wall to test hand-eye coordination.

Activities were hosted by local businesses, training providers, colleges and universities who talked to pupils about key skills in employment and gave them advice on how to get into particular jobs.

Local employers who attended the Careers Festival were from a variety of industries and included BT, Lloyds Bank, Coastal Housing, DVLA, EESW Stem Cymru, and Tesco.

The event was attended by Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James AM, and was opened by the Mayor and Consort of Neath Port Talbot County Borough, Councillor Sheila Penry and Mr Glen Clarke, pictured below.

Careers Wales Festival 2016 - 1Richard Spear, chief executive at Careers Wales, said:  “Our Careers Festival is all about getting young people in front of employers and encouraging them to do new things.

“Offering young people the chance to try a range of sector-specific interactive activities allows them to get a feel for different jobs and helps to open their eyes to career options and routes they may not have thought of before.

“Events like this are especially important for these pupils as they are halfway through their GCSEs and will be in the process of deciding if they want to do after leaving school – whether that’s going on to sixth form, doing an apprenticeship or going straight into work. Youngsters who engage with an employer at school are less likely to become NEET - not in employment, education or training - in the future.

“It is also a chance for employers to scope out potential future recruits and I wouldn’t be surprised if some students received job or apprenticeship offers for when they finish school.”

Professor Marc Clement, Dean of the School of Management at Swansea University, said: “The School of Management is delighted to welcome such enthusiastic and gifted young students to the University’s Bay Campus.  We are proud to collaborate with Careers Wales, which looks to support the next generation at the beginning of their careers.  There is no underestimating the impact an event like this can have on the development of these young people. 

“At the School, we have put a huge amount of emphasis on the support we provide to our students in developing their careers and transferable skills alongside their academic progression.  We look forward to seeing these bright futures unfold.”

Activities were hosted by local businesses, training providers, colleges and universities who talked to pupils about key skills in employment and gave them advice on how to get into particular jobs.

Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language, Alun Davies, said: “Events like the Careers Festival provide local employers with the opportunity to access young people at an early age and to ensure that they’re made aware of the career opportunities available to them.

“By giving year 10 pupils the chance to engage and interact with these employers and their respective sectors, we can help them to make a decision about their career at a crucial point in their education. These are the young people that will become the next generation of workers in Wales, and by giving them hands-on experience of a variety of industries, we’re ensuring that they are aware of the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.”

Schools that attended included Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, Dŵr y Felin Comprehensive, Sandfields Comprehensive, Bishopston Comprehensive, Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, and Morriston Comprehensive.

For more information on Careers Wales visit www.careerswales.com, or call 0800 028 4844, or speak to a member of the team on the web chat service.