Secondary school students from Blackpool and the Fylde Coast were given a valuable opportunity to explore the range of career options available thanks to a jam-packed event held at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Organised by Blackpool Guidance Community, the annual event, now in its 10th year, saw local employers, training providers and educational institutions join together to equip young people with information, advice and guidance relating to their future careers.
Approximately 1600 Year 8 and 9 pupils from schools including Montgomery High School, St George’s School and Fleetwood High School attended the two-day convention.
It was supported by Future U, a collaborative programme which creates opportunities for young people in Lancashire in order to increase rates of progression onto higher education in areas where participation is lower than expected.
Over 30 exhibitors represented a wide range of sectors including science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), business, enterprise and ICT and travel, sport and leisure, with representatives from organisations including Sainsbury’s, British Aerospace, Blackpool Football Club and the NHS on hand to provide expert advice and guidance.
Shabir Nazir, project lead at Future U, said: “Events like these are important for young people as it can be quite overwhelming working out what you’re going to do after leaving the safety net of school. It’s therefore key that there is this level of support and information available to stimulate interest at an early age, while helping pupils feel more confident and in a better position to make informed choices about their futures.
“What we’re doing through Future U is providing students with opportunities to find out more about how higher education and apprenticeships can provide them with the skills and qualities both needed and valued by local employers. This is based on the identification of areas around the county where there is a significant number of pupils achieving the grades required to progress onto higher education yet choosing not to, possibly because of certain barriers getting in the way.
“There was great feedback from the pupils who attended the careers event, they really enjoyed the experience and it will be great to see how they can use what they’ve learnt and where it will take them.”