Major Norfolk careers and skills fair attracts thousands of school and college students

Long Stratton High School students are shown around a Gazelle helicopter by Cpl Paul Lockett of the

Long Stratton High School students are shown around a Gazelle helicopter by Cpl Paul Lockett of the Army Air Corps, at the Skills and Careers Festival for Norfolk schoolchildren at the Norfolk Showground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Thousands of teenagers have a fresh insight into the variety of jobs and training on offer in Norfolk after a major careers festival.

Crowds of Norfolk schoolchildren at the Skills and Careers Festival at the Norfolk Showground. Pictu

Crowds of Norfolk schoolchildren at the Skills and Careers Festival at the Norfolk Showground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Norfolk's largest skills and careers event on the Norfolk Showground, just outside Norwich, attracted 3000 students aged 14-24 from 60 schools across the county today.

Businesses large and small from industries including science and innovation, charity work, health and social care, leisure, tourism and culture and digital and creative fields were represented.

Nigel Cushion, founder and chief buccaneer for Nelsonspirit, said: 'There are some fantastic career opportunities for young people in Norfolk but a lot of them are not visible because of the emerging digital technology. Businesses don't always talk about what they do. We are quite modest about what we do in this region.

'I would say it is the most vibrant and exciting time for businesses in Norfolk at the moment.

Long Stratton High School students are shown around a Gazelle helicopter by Cpl Paul Lockett of the

Long Stratton High School students are shown around a Gazelle helicopter by Cpl Paul Lockett of the Army Air Corps, at the Skills and Careers Festival for Norfolk schoolchildren at the Norfolk Showground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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'Norfolk has a history of producing leaders and I cannot see why this should change.

'Schools and colleges can do their best to give careers guidance but what is magical about the jobs festival is young people can talk to people in business and the different paths they can take.'

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The teenagers and young adults spoke directly with employers as well as giving them feedback about what they wanted from their future employment.

They could also find out about training and extended learning options through apprenticeships, further education colleges and university degrees.

Apprentice carpenter Jack Goodrum, 18, taking part in the skills competition at the Norfolk skills a

Apprentice carpenter Jack Goodrum, 18, taking part in the skills competition at the Norfolk skills and careers festival. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Rebecca Harris, communications manager for tourism giant Hoseasons, said: 'The festival is really important for us. The tourism and hospitality industries offer so much to Norfolk. It is important for young people to learn about the variety of roles on offer in that sector.'

She added it was 'inspiring' talking to the thousands of young festival visitors.

The tourism expert said as well as the broad range of jobs on offer, Norfolk was a good place for business because of its improved road links.

Charlotte Cooper, chief executive officer for Cooper Lomaz recruitment agency, said the turn out for the festival was 'phenomenal' which showed young people were taking their future careers seriously.

Trainee carpenter staying loyal to his Norfolk roots

An apprentice carpenter is backing Norfolk as a good place to work in the building industry.

Jack Goodrum, 18, from Wimbotsham near Downham Market, is in his third year of training at the College of West Anglia (CWA) in King's Lynn.

When he is not in the classroom he is earning money and learning skills at his family's carpentry firm Peter Goodrum Ltd in Wimbotsham.

The teenager was taking part in a carpentry skills challenge at the Norfolk careers festival.

Mr Goodrum said Norfolk was good for carpenters because a lot of new houses were being built in the county.

He said: 'I enjoy the apprenticeship because I'm earning money and learning at the same time.'

David McCarthy, CWA carpentry tutor, said: 'Careers and skills festivals are really important. Young people need choices.

'The whole of the Norfolk house building market is booming and we have a shortage of tradesmen.'

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