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Barnsley industry event to boost employability skills attracts hundreds

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Almost 800 pupils, parents and carers turned out at an industry day to find out what skills Barnsley employers want from school leavers.

Organised by Business in the Community (BITC) on behalf of Barnsley Council, the “I Know I Can” event at Barnsley Metrodome, was a chance for local teenagers to gain a real insight into work and career opportunities. 

270 pupils from Barnsley schools Darton, Greenacre, Netherwood ALC, Carlton Community College, Springwell, Horizon and The Dearne ALC met representatives from 21 local businesses.

A twilight session for parents and carers attracted more than 450 attendees. 

Jess Leech, careers, information, advice and guidance lead at The Dearne ALC commented:

“Opportunities like the ‘I Know I Can Day’ are essential to develop young people’s understanding of careers and the world of work.

“This has been such a valuable chance for our students to meet real employees – something that we strive to offer them as much as possible.”

The event comes as UK business bosses call for greater emphasis on the skills that employers need from school leavers.

Stephanie Oerton, head of learning and development, East Coast, was among employers giving tips on career paths and how to apply for jobs.

She said:

“East Coast has enjoyed the opportunity to engage with young people.

“It has given us the chance to find out more about their perception of our industry and their needs.

“Being able to open their minds to the types of roles and careers that we offer has been fulfilling.”   

The Mayor of Barnsley, Coun Ken Richardson, who spent two hours at the event talking to school students and businesses, said:

“It is nice to see so many companies represented, offering real opportunities – and such a wide range from traditional engineering apprenticeships to more modern clerical and IT roles.”

If you feel that you and your company can add value to future initiatives such as the Industry Day, contact Barnsley Council via ikicchallenges@barnsley.gov.uk

I Know I Can event photo B
Pupils from Dearne ALC pick up employability tips from East Coast: From left Olivia Burke, Louis Meakin, Stephanie Oerton, East Coast; and Kelsey Glaves

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