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Young people discover the opportunities on their doorstep at inaugural Skills & Careers Festival

12th July 2018

A careers event designed to help young people from North Norfolk discover the career opportunities and apprenticeship openings available locally has been hailed a success, with hundreds of students learning about some of the district’s leading businesses.

More than 600 Year 9, 10 and 12 students from seven local schools attended the North Norfolk Skills & Careers Festival at Paston College. They were able to meet representatives from more than 40 employers, training providers and universities. Local businesses at the event included Kinnerton, the Holkham Estate, CT Baker, East Coast Nurseries and Westover Vets.

The aim of the event was to show young people from North Norfolk the wide range of career opportunities available locally. It is part of an effort to help minimise the risk of ambitious young people feeling they have to leave the district to realise their dreams because they are unaware of the wealth of opportunities nearer to home.

The festival, organised by Paston College, City College Norwich and North Norfolk District Council, built on the success of the North-East Norfolk Futures events, which have been held at Paston College in recent years. The new festival follows the recent merger between Paston College and City College, which has allowed the event to expand.

Cllr Nigel Dixon, NNDC Conservative Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “This event was designed to plant a seed with the pupils and show them early on just how many exciting opportunities are on their doorstep.

“It means that when these students begin to think seriously about the world of work in a few years’ time, they will already have a good working knowledge of what is available locally.”

Local education providers ran a series of hands-on activities linked to subjects or sectors. Paston College staff also ran an interactive Science and Technology Zone, which highlighted the many outstanding career opportunities available with local businesses keen to attract recruits with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Corrienne Peasgood, Principal at City College Norwich, said:

“I am delighted that our first North Norfolk Skills & Careers Festival has been so well supported by local employers, post-16 education and training providers, and local high schools.

“Thanks to all our exhibitors, a really good turnout of young people has benefited from a high quality, interactive careers event focused on the excellent career and higher-education opportunities available to North Norfolk’s school and college leavers.”

Cllr Nigel Lloyd, NNDC Lib Dem Shadow Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said:

“It is pleasing that so many local employers and colleges gave their time to support this event for the benefit of young people in our district. Careers events such as this one serve to open young people’s minds to the wide range of opportunities available to them in the area.”