Hunstanton Careers Fair Brings Community Together

Hunstanton Careers Fair Brings Community Together
The Career Fair at Hunstanton Town Hall

A Hunstanton school helped both its students and job-seekers in the wider community when it brought together a host of businesses and education providers at its Job and Careers Fair.

Held at Hunstanton Town Hall on Wednesday 13 March, and opened by Mayor Cllr Michael Ruston, the event was organised by Smithdon High School in partnership with the Town Council and the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions).

WEB Career Fair 4 Mayor Cllr Michael Ruston opening the event

“The event was open to all year groups and the local community,” said organiser Sam Fairweather, who is Careers Lead at Smithdon – part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“I organise all of the careers education in the school, including post-16 applications, work experience and in-class lessons for careers,” she explained.

“Having organised a careers fair previously at the school with the agreement to do another every two years, I decided it would be a fantastic opportunity to work with the Town Council, who had a job fair last year at the same time we were planning to have our event, so thought combining the two would be a fantastic chance for the community to come together.

“Being a secondary school in Norfolk means that we often miss out on opportunities to attend larger career fairs that are often available to those students in the bigger cities, such as Birmingham and London.

“This was an opportunity to see what our local area offers in terms of businesses and opportunities.”

As well as allowing job-seekers and those considering a change in career to meet potential employers, the event also provided information about post-16 courses, such as adult education and apprenticeships.

“There were opportunities to talk to local businesses about what they do, and hands-on activities including having a go at plastering,” continued Miss Fairweather.

WEB Career Fair 3 A student practicing plastering with British Gypsum

“There were also opportunities to discuss current workplace vacancies, book one-to-one careers advice sessions, and CV workshops for students and adults.”

Organisations taking part included the NHS, the Army, Searles, Saint-Gobain, Palm Paper, Briarfields, the College of West Anglia, Springwood Sixth Form, the Police, the Fire Service, SJP Solicitors, CITB (Construction Industries Training Board), the RSPB, Pointz of Interest, Rounce and Evans, Drove Orchards, Vertex Architecture, Alive West Norfolk, Arms Care, and Abacus Hotels.

WEB Career Fair 1 Smithdon students speaking with the local Fire Service

“We have some fantastic employers in our local area, and there is so much going on that many are not aware of,” added Miss Fairweather. “Parents also got the opportunity to talk to the staff from the College, Springwood Sixth Form and CITB about post-16 training for their children and even themselves.

“Parents often don’t get a lot of chances to speak to these providers with their child, and it’s important we give our young people the knowledge of what is available to them in the future, especially at a young enough age to assist them with their future choices at school, such as GCSE options and work experience opportunities.

“Another benefit to students was the opportunity to talk to professional adults from the working world about their experiences, their roles and how they got into their careers. We found at the last event that many students found these discussions inspiring as well as informative.”

Photographs by Ian Burt

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