The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) held its eighth annual careers fest last week, opening its doors to 1,800 students from 20 Oxfordshire schools and colleges.
The Careers Fest took place at MINI Plant Oxford and brought together more than 50 employers and training organisations that presented a range of career options in a variety of industries.
Students had the opportunity to talk with local employers and apprentices to hear about career paths and job roles.
Each exhibitor had a practical activity on offer, giving the students a feel for what a job entails.
Students had the chance to experience virtual reality with Oxford’s Army Cadet College (ACC), learn to bend a pipe with Oxford Energy Academy, and even have a chat with humanoid robot ‘Artie’ from Oxford Brookes University.
OxLEP kicked off the day with the launch of their Oxfordshire Skills Strategy, which sets out plans to inform and help develop the skills of local young people to meet the needs of local employers.
Nigel Tipple, CEO of OxLEP said: “We’re pleased to welcome businesses and students from across the county to the largest-ever Careers Fest.
“The event provides a great opportunity for young people to consider the array of opportunities that exist here in Oxfordshire.
“Developing the skills of our young people is critical to the future prosperity of the Oxfordshire economy and indeed their ability to take advantage of employment opportunities.
“We have a dynamic business base, strong growth potential and a refreshed Skills Strategy which recognises the need for a flexible and well trained workforce, enabling us to maximise our economic potential in a local, national and international context.”
Jason Gaskell, manager of Apprentice Training Programmes at BMW, said: “This is an event that really helps to get young people thinking about the range of careers that are on offer and about what inspires them.
“For us it’s an invaluable opportunity to showcase our Apprenticeship training programme and to encourage young people to consider a rewarding career working in the automotive sector.”