Eager job and skill-seekers found plenty of inspiration at the Employment and Skills Fair in Hammersmith Town Hall last Thursday (6 September), where more than 70 exhibitors were promoting jobs, training courses and apprenticeships.
Hundreds of people attended the event, which ran for five hours in the assembly hall, with stallholders including Tesco, the NHS, the London Film Academy, John Lewis and numerous colleges and training bodies.
Alex Adeboye, 32, was one of the visitors looking for inspiration to help make career choices. “I’m not really sure what I’m looking for; I’m open-minded, but this fair is useful for giving me ideas,” he said.
Special Constable Deborah Charnley was on duty, in uniform, at the Met Police stand, encouraging visitors to think about volunteering to gain lifelong skills, help make London safer… and possibly pave the way to a full-time career in the police force.
“It’s a good way into the police,” she said. “A lot of employers support staff who become special constables, and many give them a certain number of paid days. We also have 13 to 18-year-old cadets.”
It was the third jobs fair in a row that Prince’s Trust outreach executive Keisha Khyne-Sam had attended at the town hall. “There’s always been a good turnout,” she said, adding that she expected to be busiest later in the day, “because we’re looking for 16 to 30-year-olds, and a lot of them are only getting out of bed now!”
Sitting alongside her on the stand was Kyronne Parkes, a Prince’s Trust worker who actually got a job through the Employment and Skills Fair at the town hall six years ago.
“I lived in Sands End at the time, and I came along and got work as a gardener in Holland Park,” he recalled. “Then I realised that I was really more interested in working with people, so I joined the Prince’s Trust.”
Following the success of this year’s fair, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy and the Arts, Cllr Andrew Jones, said he was delighted with the way the day had gone.
“This annual fair gives companies, training institutions and volunteer organisations a shop window, and gives H&F residents an idea of the spectrum of opportunities that exist,” he said. “We will continue to work with residents and local businesses to make H&F the best place to live, work and play in Europe.”
Hosted by WorkZone, the Shepherds Bush Library-based service to help local people secure jobs, in partnership with the council and Westfield London, the fair included free workshops on topics as varied as interview techniques, managing finances and adult apprenticeships.
For more information, call Lesley Grant on 020 8753 6548 / 07795 267 151, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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