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Carlisle’s inaugural Talent Connect hailed a success

Young Carlisle Ambassadors Influnce the future of the City event in Carlisle city centre

Carlisle’s city centre played host to its first Young Ambassadors Talent Connect event at the end of September.

After nine months of planning and sheer hard work Carlisle’s Young Ambassadors, their adult mentors, volunteers and local businesses brought their innovative ideas to life and to the heart of the city.

The idea for Talent Connect came from a desire to address the need for accessible and engaging careers advice.  National studies in recent years have highlighted that around a quarter of young people are taking their next career or education steps on the advice of parents, while more than one in six are opting to simply do the same as their friends. Young ambassadors wanted to do something positive to highlight the wealth of opportunities open to Cumbria’s young people.

Launched by John Stevenson MP, the daylong event saw hundreds of young people from across the district come together as they sought inspiration for their futures. On the day Carlisle city centre was split into four experience zones, which saw young people explore an enterprise zone, a careers zone, a learning zone and a chill out zone, where they were able to take part in a host of interactive activities, demonstrations and workshops throughout the day. As well as having the opportunity of talking to some of the city’s large employers and business leaders.

The vibrancy and energy of the event was captured on video.

Michelle Masters, Carlisle Ambassadors, project lead, said: ‘’Talent Connect is a real credit to Carlisle’s Young Ambassadors, their innovative idea and pro-active approach has sparked something really inspiring. It’s no surprise to me that Talent Connect was a hugely successful.

“Young Ambassadors wanted to create something different; an event that shared ideas, knowledge and skills, whilst being fun and interactive, and they certainly achieved that. If we want an industrious, prosperous, well equipped workforce, then events like this need to become an integral part of our approach to sharing information and advice to our young people.

“By working together Carlisle Young Ambassadors have enabled the district’s young people to discover that they have the power to shape their own futures, that they can have aspirations and that there is a wealth of high-profile career opportunities open to them in Cumbria.’’

Phil Taylor from Carlisle Mencap speaking after the event, said: ‘’Carlisle Mencap has found being members of Carlisle Ambassadors extremely beneficial in helping us make connections with businesses, charities and other institutions across north Cumbria, and the Talent Connect Event in particular was very useful because it coincided with a job recruitment drive by ourselves to try and get young people to seriously consider a career in the Third Sector and with Mencap. We received useful feedback and interest, both on the day and later on through our social media sites.’’

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, said: “I was delighted to open the Young Carlisle Ambassador’s Talent Connect event in September. There were an excellent variety of employers and training providers in attendance, who held live demonstrations and workshops. These events help to shape the future of Carlisle and I was pleased that so many young people participated in the wide range of activities that were available to them throughout the day.”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, added: “Talent Connect was a great success and I’d like to thank all those who organised and were part of the event. I hope that those that attended were inspired to find out more about the opportunities available to them within Carlisle and the wider region.”

To find out more about Talent Connect contact Michelle Masters by email [email protected] or by calling 07810 224 735.

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