From education to employment

Creating a college fit for industry at “West London’s biggest jobs fair”

Hundreds of job seekers were interviewed on the day whilst many more had the opportunity to speak to over fifty employers, helping them to hone their CV and try out new skills.

Firms including Hewlett Packard, Epson, Otis Lifts, British Airways and London Heathrow were on the lookout for new employees at “Aspire – The West London Careers Experience” held last Friday (March 23rd) at West Thames College’s Isleworth campus.

There were an estimated 2,000 participants at the event, which celebrates its fourth year, from college students and Jobcentre Plus clients to school pupils and visitors.  Organised by the College and supported by local MPs Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra, along with The National Careers Service and Jobcentre Plus, the Aspire theme for 2018 was “Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacture (STEM)”

Speaking to a packed room of employers at the event’s official opening, College Principal Tracy Aust spoke about how the college was meeting the Government’s recently released Industrial Strategy, “Building a Britain Fit for the Future” by “Building a college fit for industry.”  Tracy announced her intention to “position employers and industry at the heart of the curriculum” through, “getting employers like yourselves involved in designing course content, offering industrial placements to students and assessing student performance”.  Whilst college Business Development Consultant, Adam Sage, encouraged local employers to “Inspire, engage and hire!”

Attending Aspire for the first time Laura Atkins, HR Manager with logistics firm Panalpina UK, said, “We have had a fantastic time at Aspire. We met some great people and some potential employees, who took great interest in Panalpina and the roles available.”  Whilst Stacey of Epson UK agreed that, ““It was a genuinely inspirational event. Great to see young people well prepared, bringing along their CV’s and eager to join the employment work force.”

Throughout the day 138 job conversations took place with representatives from the NHS, whilst Panalpina UK expect to be able to fill 8 Apprenticeship vacancies.  Anna Skinner of UK Border Force described how “We’ve spoken to a lot of keen students and applicants and we had a lot of interest in the roles along with a lot of great questions.”

Speaking at the close of the day, Ruth Cadbury MP captured the mood of all those present when she said, “Aspire is such a brilliant event!” 

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