From education to employment

Jobseeker successes at Uxbridge College Jobs Fair

Pictured: Sol Hernandez (left) and Emily Kenward from Actavo with a visiting jobseeker at Jobs Fair Spring 2022.

Roles in the travel, leisure and hospitality sectors were among the many opportunities for jobseekers at Uxbridge College’s recent Jobs Fair at its Hayes campus.

Employers in the tech, engineering, recruitment and private tuition sectors also took part in the on-site event, where the 200 visitors could apply for commercial vacancies, sign up jobs under the Government’s Kickstart programme, or join apprenticeships and short courses at College.

In all, 24 jobs were offered through the Kickstart scheme, which funds 6 months’ wages plus a £1,500 training and set-up grant for employers. A total of 26 people were also registered on HCUC short courses, and six were signed up for apprenticeships.

The Jobs Fair was run by HCUC Apprenticeships & Skills – which provides work-based and professional training programmes for Harrow College and Uxbridge College – in partnership with Uxbridge and Hayes Job Centres.

Giles Strachan, Employability and Projects Manager, HCUC Apprenticeships & Skills, said:

“It is so encouraging post-pandemic to be see such growth in job opportunities in the local and regional economy, and to have so many fantastic employers together in one place. The headline figures were extremely pleasing, and we also had significant further interest in apprenticeships and SWAP training courses to support employers with recruitment, and very positive feedback from employers.

Dylan McTaggart, Principal of Uxbridge College, who opened the event, said:

“This has been a really successful event with employers energised, engaged, and present in significant volume. This shared endeavour with employers, Job Centre Plus and the College is yet another step on the road towards a stronger workforce.”

TRG (The Restaurant Group) which owns brands including Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, and Chiquito, accepted six job applications and provided information and advice about the company to visitors throughout the day. The company is recruiting 300 staff in the hospitality sector between Heathrow & Gatwick airports.

Speaking at the event, Stephen Lawton, who is a Bartender at TRG’s The Curator, at Heathrow Terminal 3, said: “There’s a job for everyone – I joined with no experience in hospitality, and am still there 12 years later. I’ve also completed two NVQs in customer service and hospitality thanks to TRG’s training programme for staff.”

General Manager at TRG Jacinto Dos Santos said: “It’s so rewarding to see people developing – we aim to match people to jobs, including giving them guidance and training, as they may not always know what is the right role for them. You want to make sure you match the right person to the right job.”

Jobseeker Nicoleta Nicolae said:

“I have worked in an office, in catering and hospitality, as an office co-ordinator, and a personal trainer – I’m definitely a ‘people person’. I’m looking for a change, so I came to find out more about the opportunities on offer.”

Pete Cordiner is a Senior Supervisor with employer Actavo, an events infrastructure supplier, which supplies and installs fencing, barriers events and scaffolding such as stages and grandstands for sports events and festivals. He said:

“The winter is quieter, but obviously we are looking towards the summer which is really busy with festivals and parties and so on. We do work with agency staff but are looking to build up a core crew of our own to call on when needed.”

Jobseeker Manny Qader said:

“I’m currently studying adult Education and Training at Uxbridge College and hoping to get into teaching, but I’m keeping an open mind so I came along today. I’ve also been self-employed for a long time but would also like to look into permanent employment with job security, holidays and a pension.”

The Spring event followed in the footsteps of Uxbridge College’s first post-pandemic jobs event in October 2021.

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