Primary school children's careers fair proves a massive hit

Date published: 20 March 2018

Oldham’s primary school pupils were given the chance to find out about the world of work from leading local businesses, thanks to an event organised by MPLOY Solutions and Oldham Enterprise Trust.

Twenty-four of the borough’s primary schools, represented by more than 1,000 pupils, attended the Careers Fair at Mahdlo Youth Zone yesterday (Tuesday), where they were able to meet over 40 top employers, colleges, and apprenticeship providers spanning a wide range of industry sectors.

The fourth annual event was supported by Oldham Enterprise Trust and Oldham Council.

Each business and educational body - who included Interserve, Natwest, the Oldham College, Great Places Housing Group, Ravat and Ray Dental Care, St John Ambulance, Remedian IT Solutions and One Goal, among many others - provided interactive hands-on activities for pupils about their roles and sectors, to help inspire and engage the Year 5s.

Pupils were also delighted to meet the Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Shadab Qumer.

Alison Leigh, Headteacher at Delph Primary School and co-leader of the Oldham Schools Business and Community Hub, said: “Our pupils were able to learn about different industries and educational pathways in a fun and interactive environment.

“We think it’s incredibly important that pupils have the opportunity to think about the future, particularly before they move on to high school and face important decisions about which subjects to pursue.  

“All of our Year 5s really enjoyed themselves and have taken a lot away from the experience.

“We will definitely continue to be involved in organising and supporting these events in the future.”

Caroline Ireland, Headteacher at St Thomas’ Leesfield Primary School - also a co-leader - said: “This has been a great opportunity for Oldham’s nine and ten-year-olds to discover what jobs are out there and for the children to consider the skills that they might need if wishing to work in a desired area.  

“It was a fun and active event that the Oldham Business and Community Hub are delighted to promote.”

Kashif Ashraf, from Oldham Enterprise Trust, added: “Involving businesses with Primary Schools is critical for the future development of an enterprising generation.

“Events such as this are the best way to get pupils in front of future employers and set them on the path to success.”

Another enthusiastic attendee at Mahdlo was Oldham Council’s Director of Education and Early Years, Andrew Sutherland.

He clearly appreciated the value of the careers fair, and hopes the children left Mahdlo suitably encouraged.

Sutherland said: “It’s been a marvellous event. It’s been great for all these children to get a sense check of the wide ranges of opportunities that are available to them.

“It’s certainly widening their horizons, and it’ll motivate them to get on with their work when they get back in school.

“I think they all recognise its importance.

“These children might want to be a hairdresser, an engineer, they might want to work in the retail industry, some might even go on to be in jobs that haven’t even been invented yet.

“The pace of change is so great, but it’s important the young people understand the need to develop a wide range of transferable and applicable skills that they can use in any context.

“Part of this event has been about developing communication skills, and they’ve seen some great examples of problem-solving and of team working.

“I’ve seen kids using logic and analysis, and even the practical stuff has been evident, things like knowing that they have to be in work on time every day.

“They will have learned so much, and no matter what their jobs might be in the future, they will be better prepared thanks to events like this.”