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Monday, 01 September 2014

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PCs, chemists, engineers – 60 experts give advice

HUNDREDS of West Cumbrian teenagers were given the opportunity to speak to the professionals this month at a careers convention.

CECONPROF04
great range of advice: Some of the stands at Connexions’ annual Professions Convention

Energus played host to the Professions Convention on February 8, organised by Connexions Cumbria.

Around 250 teenagers attended the event where 20 organisations and companies attended. Engineers to environmental officers and police constables to community pharmacists were all on-hand to offer real workplace advice and guidance to young people from years 11, 12 and 13.

The convention, now in its second year, attracted around 60 professionals.

The aim was to provide more information to young people about the wide variety of professions open to them in the area and to give them the opportunity to speak to professionals they otherwise would not come into contact with.

Louise Brown, team leader west for Connexions Cumbria, said: “Young people in West Cumbria can sometimes feel isolated and distanced from access to the major professions so we tried to address this through this event.

“We wanted to encourage young people to take up the rare opportunity to speak to the representatives who interest them.

“We know from experience that talking face to face to those who work in the profession is the way young people prefer to get their information.

”Now more than ever, young people are wanting to know about the careers that are out there for them and the most common enquiries this event helps to address is when they can apply to employers, how they do that and the qualifications or practical experience they will need to be successful.”

A team of personal advisers from Connexions was also on hand to offer impartial information, advice and guidance throughout the evening.

Lisa Manning, 17, of Workington, said: “This is a careers evening with a difference because you can talk directly to the professionals who have been there and done it. I wanted to come to speak to representatives from Cumbria Police about how I can get into the force. They gave me some great advice.”

Andrew Harwood, 16, of Cockermouth, said: “This has been a brilliant event simply because the exact people I have questions for are here. It’s not very often you get to speak to those who are doing the job right now.

“I wanted to speak to some engineers who are here at the event – there has been more than what I expected so I am really pleased with the information I have come away with tonight.”

Liam Wilde, 16, of Whitehaven said: “I have been to a few careers evenings before but nothing like this one – I have been able to speak to the real professionals in the job.

“When I found out representatives from the NHS were going to be here I definitely wanted to come because I would like a career in the health service.

“I have been able to talk to people who have various jobs in the service and get some great advice from them about where to go next with my education and training.

“It’s been a great way to get real industry advice and the people at Connexions have been on-hand all evening as well.”

Emma Hall, 17, of Seaton said: “Having an event like this at somewhere like Energus has been great for the likes of me who really want to know everything there is about getting a job at Sellafield.

“I haven’t and don’t want to go down the engineering route but I would like to work on the human resources or administration side at the plant, so talking to the recruitment representative from the firm has given me a good idea of what I need to do next to work in that area.

“It’s sometimes difficult for young people to access advice directly from the people who are in the job or from the company you want to work for. So a careers evening like this one has been brilliant.

“A lot of friends have come along tonight and I’m not surprised it’s been so busy. Another benefit has been able to bring along my mum to listen to the advice as well.”

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