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Expo “05 Skills Festival Provides Advice for Young People in Lancashire

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in Lancashire last week held Lancashire’s biggest ever skills festival, “exp05”, in order to provide young people in Lancashire with valuable advice and information about learning opportunities and career options.

Among the highlights of the festival was the “Find the Spy” competition run by the organizers at the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) stand. Each hour, the first young person to spot the undercover spy from the EMA TV adverts and convey the password “EMA” to him was rewarded with a £5 high street voucher as a prize!

Pod ““ itively Great!

However, EMA’s generosity didn”t stop there. Helen Birbeck, a student at Accrington and Rossendale College, became the lucky winner of an iPod in the EMA’s “Snap It Up!” competition. To enter this competition, students already receiving up to £30 per week in their EMA to assist them with completing their studies were required to photograph all the items they had purchased with their EMA money. A selection of these photos was proudly displayed at the EMA stand.

The EMA stand was set up to inform students about a helpful financial resource available to them which they may not have previously heard about and would allow them to pursue further education and training to develop their skills. The stand was located within the “Information, Advice and Guidance” Zone which was designed to provide students with practical information and useful guidance on choosing careers or courses as well as advice on the financial assistance on offer. The zone also included the Aim Higher, Army Careers, Connexions Lancashire, Work-Based Learning, banks and Student Finances stands.

An Exciting Event

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However, this zone was just one of ten allocated zones covering a variety of vocational areas of interest; from Business and IT or Construction to Creative and Media. It also had zones dealing with specific career advice on pursuing a career in the Engineering, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, Catering, Customer Care and Tourism, Public Services, retail and rural or Sport sectors.

Executive Director of the LSC in Lancashire, Steve Palmer, described his hopes of what the skills festival would bring to the region before it launched, stating: “exp05 is going to be a very exciting event that will help lots of young people with their career choice.”

He also emphasised the fun-filled nature of the event, listing amongst its many attractions the interactive stands that offered students a chance to get a real taste of an industry by gaining “first-hand experience of hundreds of different skills.” He particularly highlighted the value of the Information, Guidance and Advice stand which he was confident would provide each student with the information and advice they need to pursue a successful career path.

Sara Hashash

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