On Wednesday 26th February, Minehead Middle School held a speed networking event for their year 8 students to meet a range of local employers. Students were in small groups and had 5 minutes to spend with each employer. The students got to listen to them speak about the different opportunities in that sector and business, ask the employers questions and take part in some interactive activities.

Sarah Mills, the careers leader at Minehead Middle School, created a powerpoint presentation for the students, explaining how the session could help them choose their GCSE options and was an opportunity for them to get inspiration and ideas for their futures. 

We had a really diverse set of businesses who attended and they talked about different local opportunities from entry-level jobs for those who hadn’t managed to get any academic qualifications, to apprenticeships to degree-level jobs. As well as offering general careers advice on things like what will help students make a good impression at interviews. We gathered feedback from the students and had a really positive response. 

One student said, ‘I like that everyone here has been extraordinarily helpful and they have helped me to explore job options around the area.’

Katherine Williams a Police Community Support Officer said ‘Taking part in the careers fair is such a positive for me as a representative of the Police, many of the students know me from my work within the community so being able to speak about my role and what that entails and the huge variety of other roles within the Police is really great – so many of them just think of the uniformed front line roles and often don’t consider the many many careers the Police offer. I love being able to share with them the options they have!’

It was great to see so many local businesses working closely with the school to help support the students and invest in their community and potential future workforce. The collaborative relationships between schools and businesses have played a key part in the Opportunity Area programme and will hopefully sustain beyond the end of the project to continue benefiting young people in the area. 

Every single business that attended got name-checked by at least a few students in their feedback to say that they would like to work there or had enjoyed finding out more about them.

Harry Singer, Managing Director of Singer Instruments, said, ‘Events like this are a fantastic opportunity to help us nurture our local talent funnel. These bright, young, inquisitive students are our future.

‘I would always encourage students to get out of our beautiful West Somerset bubble to get experience and gain skills, in the knowledge that there are opportunities to stay for, if they wish, or opportunities to come back to should they choose.’

One student said, ‘I would like to work with Singer Instruments as they do things I really enjoy like testing and breaking robots. Thank you for inspiring me.’

Another one said, ‘I enjoyed the Butlins and the police force because they were fun and interesting.’

 

With thanks to the businesses that attended: Somerset West & Taunton Council, Contains Art, Midas Construction, Elite Staffing, Exmoor National Park, TSB, Brook Foods, Minehead Hospital NHS, Singer Instruments, Butlins, Minehead Neighbourhood Police Team