Thousands of people looking for new opportunities visited the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.
Over 1,000 college students and school pupils came along with parents and carers to speak to local and national employers on March 22nd.
Employers were available from a wide range of industries, including travel and tourism, hair and beauty, construction, engineering and retail.
Staff from the Royal United Hospitals, Bath, and Way Ahead Care, were on hand to represent the health and social care sector at the fair, as well as employees from The Pig near Bath, The Vineyard Hotel, Apex Hotels and Combe Grove Hotel representing the hospitality and catering industry.
Student Ellis Byrne, who is studying engineering at Bath College, said: “The fair was really good. I spoke to five engineering companies to find out what apprentices do and how to continue learning and developing. I’ve had an e-mail from one company who thanked me for going and speaking with them.”
Combe Grove Hotel has just been bought by The Elmhurst Foundation and is being turned into a centre for work-based learning offering apprenticeships in all areas of business, from marketing, administration and finance to hospitality, customer service, estate management and horticulture.
Jenna Morice is already working at the hotel and studying with Bath College as a Level 3 business administration apprentice.
Speaking at the fair, she said: “I’m really happy to be here promoting apprenticeships to people and it’s great to see so many people interested.
“I’ve found it extremely motivating to be learning and working at the same time. You’re working with experienced people, you can go to them and say ‘I don’t know how to do this’ and they will mentor you.”
The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Paul Crossley, attended the fair and spoke to a number of businesses, including Midas Group, Gradwell Communications, Avon & Somerset Police and Space Engineering.
He also met Adam Whittaker, Kieran Gash and Anna Parkinson, who are all apprentices at Rotork, one of Bath’s biggest engineering companies.
Adam, from Bristol, said: “The first time I came across Rotork as a company was here at Bath College’s Apprenticeships and Jobs fair.
“I was volunteering at the fair and studying at Bath College on an engineering course. The apprenticeship route definitely works. It’s a good way of seeing what opportunities are out there locally, and what alternatives there are to university.
“I’m enjoying the range of my apprenticeship, we spend a short period in each department. I’m in the quality assurance department at the moment and I’m going to go to nuclear engineering.
“It helps you to find out what you like doing and the company takes this into account when you’re looking for a job at the end of your apprenticeship.”
Employability adviser Lucy Beattie organised the fair as part of the Bath College Futures Team, which works to provide employability opportunities for young people attending the college and from the community.
She said: “It was an amazing opportunity for all our students and local school pupils to see the range of employers out there.
“We know there are people helping on stands this year who met employers at the fair this time last year, and we have had amazing feedback from employers saying how great it was to meet potential candidates.”