Twenty-nine people are a step closer to entering the workplace thanks to a People Fair held by Prospects, the education, employment and skills company, and Westward Pathfinder last week, 17 September 2015 in Torquay.
The People Fair concept was developed by Prospects to bring together employers with jobseekers on the Work Programme. Prospects is a prime contractor for the Work Programme in the South West supporting people who are furthest from the job market and have been long term unemployed. At the People Fair, unlike at a traditional job fair, employers directly approach invited jobseekers and tell them about their company and available vacancies. In turn the jobseekers tell the employers about themselves, with the aim of securing an interview on the day or at a later date.
At the Torquay People Fair 29 job seekers attended and benefitted by meeting employers face to face, ensuring their personalities and enthusiasm gave the recruiters a positive first impression. The employers included ASDA, Wise Employment, Sainsbury’s, Modus Care, Mears Group, SES Recruitment, Dominos, TK Maxx and Wetherspoons. All of the employers were very impressed with the People Fair and the jobseekers attending, and all benefited from the opportunity to meet potential employees, keen to work in their sector and immediately available to start work.
Of the 29 jobseekers who attended, two were instantly successful, gaining work at the fair. One customer, who only joined the Work Programme on Monday, was recruited as a kitchen porter for a local hotel through Wise Employment and another was recruited as a delivery driver for Dominos.
The majority of the jobseekers who attended now have interviews in the pipeline or will be progressing their applications with the companies that attended.
Carole Applebee, Devon Team Manager of Prospects, said: “The People Fair was a great success, and it is very satisfying to know that at least two of our Work Programme customers have now secured work. The People Fair was busy and everyone involved benefitted from their time there, it was good to see so many people in the room at once – it promoted a bit of healthy competition where nerves were soon forgotten and everyone sold their skills to the employers.
“All of the employers thought the event excellent, with many feeling the People Fair was much better than they expected. Most anticipated the People Fair would be like a normal jobs fair, where jobseekers are reluctant to approach them and are rarely work-ready, whereas our jobseekers were eager and enthusiastic to be recruited.
“The jobseekers at People Fair left the event feeling positive and confident, critical factors to improving people’s self-esteem and getting them back into work. All of the jobseekers who attended will be followed up over the next few days to keep the momentum up.”
Due to the success of this People Fair, similar events are being planned in across Devon in the autumn.
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Notes to Editor
Two photographs are attached for use taken at the People Fair held at Prospects office in Torquay on 17 September 2015.
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