Skills London 2015 is London’s biggest jobs and careers event for young people. Now in its seventh year, Skills London is two days of interactive activities and inspiring jobs and careers, held at ExCeL London.
The event attracts more than 32,000 visitors each year and features more than 45,000 job opportunities, including apprenticeships from more than 200 different organisations including well-known brands such as British Airways, Heathrow, PwC, McDonalds, Transport for London, H&M and HSBC. Taking place this year on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 November, the event is aimed at 15-24 year olds and their families.
Skills London 2015 is run by Prospects and London First, and is supported by the Mayor of London, National Apprenticeship Service, National Careers Service and Traineeships. In 2015 new partners - London Councils, Property Needs You, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Association of Colleges, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Lambeth College – have joined the event ensuring the content remains relevant and inspirational.
This year new attractions have been introduced including a Creative Hub and an even larger Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing Zone featuring the Lambeth College sponsored talent theatre and additional features to support young people looking to start their own business.
One exhibitor involved in the Skills London events is Thames Tideway Tunnel. Scott Young from the organisation explained why they have been involved since 2012. Why they try to outdo their previous stands each year and those of other exhibitors, and why exhibiting at Skills London is a great motivator for creating new, interactive ways of engaging their audience.
Why are you involved in Skills London?
Thames Tideway Tunnel will create more than 4,300 direct, sustainable jobs in the peak year of construction. We recognise that inspiring a younger generation to pursue rewarding careers in the construction and engineering sectors is not only vital to us getting the job completed by 2023, but also to filling a much wider skills gap that exists in our industry.
How does exhibiting at Skills London fit into your overall strategy?
Supporting initiatives to promote STEM education and careers is one of the four objectives within our skills and employment strategy. As a project which impacts upon some 14 London boroughs, it is important to support events that reach out to a large audience of young people in those boroughs. They don’t come much bigger than Skills London.
There’s also a benefit derived from being located in “villages” with other employers and projects within the sector so that we can demonstrate the range of opportunities and careers available.
How will you measure your success at Skills London?
We tend to focus on numbers of people as we’ve not been recruiting for job opportunities, but we do put an important emphasis on monitoring the impact on our staff volunteers and how events improve their professional development, enhance their communications skills and affect their view of us as an organisation to work for.
Why have you chosen to be a Skills London partner?
Construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel commences during 2016, so the project is due to become more visible in communities. As we do so we will have challenging local employment and apprenticeship targets to meet so the project is keen to raise awareness about the upcoming opportunities available. In the past we have attended and sought to promote careers in the sector, but the reality is now that job creation through this project is just around the corner so it is the right time to step up our engagement with Skills London.
Andrew Coates, Sales and Marketing Director at Prospects, the employment, education and training company and AEO member, confirmed why being involved is beneficial for organisations wanting to influence and inform young people’s career choices: “Skills London brings the work of work to life for young people in way that a lesson in a classroom, a video or a website can never do. It invites young people to try their hand at challenges and demonstrations, talk to staff on stands. Being a live event encourages young people to take the first step to finding out about new careers, industries or training that may be new to them, or indeed roles so new that their teachers and parents are unaware of their existence. It fulfils a need bridging the gap between the classroom and the workplace”
To get involved in Skills London visit www.skillslondon2015.co.uk.
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Photograph taken at Skills London in 2014 from Thames Tideway stand
The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of education, employment and skills services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone we support. Each year we support more than 500,000 young people and adults.
Alona de Havilland
0779 080 3882