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Hundreds seek careers advice and guidance at Copeland Skills Fair

Hundreds of job seekers and school leavers searching for their dream career paid a visit to the Copeland Skills Fair on Thursday.

Businesses and organisations offering apprenticeships and training opportunities across a range of sectors including health and social care, nuclear, engineering, policing and the armed forces exhibited at the Copeland Skills Fair at the Solway Hall in Whitehaven.

Building on last year’s successful skills fair, the free event was hosted by Trudy Harrison MP and saw local companies such as Cumberland Building Society, Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria Constabulary and many more provide career advice and guidance to school leavers and job seekers.

L-R: PC Lindsey Irving, Oliver Fullgar 14 from Eskdale, and Jakob Fullgar 16 from Eskdale. Photo Jim Davis

Cumbria Constabulary’s HR Assistant, Emma Owens, said: “It was great to attend the recent Copeland Skills Fair. We were able to meet with a number of talented people and offer them advice on a potential career in policing.

“We are hopeful that those who attended and spoke to us left in an informed position of how they could help us if they were to join our organisation.”

Training providers including Lakes College, UCLan, Workington Sixth Form and Gen2 were also on hand to provide helpful information.

Cumbria County Council Stand. Photo Jim Davis

Mrs Harrison, said: “This year’s skills fair was once again a fabulous success with over 30 companies and organisations providing information on more than 100 apprenticeships schemes and training opportunities across Copeland to school leavers and job seekers.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to each of the companies and organisations’ representatives who were all so enthusiastic on their stalls as well as sponsor’s, Morgan Sindall and NNL for their continued support – the fair would not be possible without their help and I am incredibly grateful.

“I will be listing each of the apprenticeships and training opportunities offered by those exhibiting at this year’s skills fair on my website: www.TrudyHarrison.co.uk.”

Dave Polkey, specialist operations director at Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure, said: “Morgan Sindall is delighted to have sponsored the Copeland Skills Fair.

“As a local employer we understand how important it is for young people to be aware of the different apprenticeship and training opportunities that are available in Cumbria.

“It was incredibly rewarding to be able to explain to the students the range of career pathways which are available in the construction and infrastructure sector.”

Last month, Mrs Harrison welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget, which pledged to introduce a package of reforms to strengthen the role of employers in apprenticeship programmes.

It was announced that £450 million will be made available to enable levy paying employers to transfer up to 25 per cent of their funds to pay for apprenticeship training in their supply chains, as well as providing up to £240 million to halve the co-investment rate for apprenticeship training to five per cent.

In addition, £5 million will be granted to the Institute for Apprenticeships and National Apprenticeship Service in 2019-20, to identify gaps in the training provider market and increase the number of employer-designed apprenticeship standards available to employers.

All new apprentices will start on these new, higher-quality courses from September 2020.

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