by david.nunes


Employers across the telecommunications industry have been challenged to get involved with the nation’s largest skills and careers event, The Skills Show, in order to ensure that the sector is able to recruit the most talented young people in the future.

Speaking at the launch of The Skills Show, Chris Starling, Head of Apprenticeships at Virgin Media, called on industry colleagues to ensure that their businesses are involved with the event, which will welcome 75,000 young people to the NEC, Birmingham from 19 to 21 November.  “Young people have so many opportunities open to them they could easily overlook a potential career in telecommunications simply because they may not be aware of the variety of roles which exist,” he explained.

“I am passionate about the telecommunications industry and investing in the future of our business by offering young people a great start to their careers,” continued Starling. “As a previous exhibitor I have seen the impact the event can have in terms of shaping future career choices. Our sector is incredibly vibrant and dynamic and it’s important we’re well represented so young talent isn’t lost to other industries.”

Virgin Media is a feature exhibitor at the event, and in the past two years, has used the event to educate young people about the broad range of careers opportunities which exist across the business, as well as inspiring visitors with opportunities to Have a Go at a new skill directly related to employment within the sector.

During the three day event, young people are encouraged to meet employers and discover new skills which could lead to a future career.    Based on an experiential careers advice model, The Skills Show offers its young visitors “bite sized” hands on opportunities across a wide range of skills, to enable them to discover what they are good at and what they enjoy.  Businesses can interact directly with young people at the event to answer their questions, encourage their participation in the industry and showcase the inspirational skills of their current employees.  In addition, a programme of more than 80 Spotlight talks also allows young people to hear directly from and be inspired by those working in their chosen professions, about their own real-life experiences.

To demonstrate the excellence within UK industry, The Skills Show plays host to the Finals of more than 60 WorldSkills UK Skills competitions.  At the 2015 event, winners will compete to be part of Team UK, which will represent the UK in the international WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

“As the UK’s leading showcase for skills and vocational careers, The Skills Show is ideally placed to change perceptions of the sector and encourage young people to consider their career options,” says Ross Maloney, Chief Executive of Find a Future, the organisation which stages the event at the NEC in Birmingham, as well as co-ordinating WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions and The Skills Show Experience programme.   “Our partnerships with leading household names like Virgin Media, O2 and BAE Systems help us to highlight the many opportunities and benefits which are available across the vocational sector to individuals, training providers, educational establishments and the broader business world, and we are delighted to have them on board once more.”

“Our research has shown that young people want the opportunity to talk with businesses directly to identify the skills and qualifications they will require in order to succeed in their careers, yet many do not have the connections or opportunity to do so.  The Skills Show provides the vital link between leading industry names and young people in enabling business to recruit the workforce of tomorrow, placing their names in front of both the skilled WorldSkills UK competitors but also the 75,000 attendees.  Taking part in the event definitely gives businesses the opportunity to put themselves ahead of the competition, and take pole position in recruiting the next generation of talent – can other telecommunications companies afford to miss out?

Businesses interested in finding out more about the opportunities presented by involvement with The Skills Show should email sponsor@findafuture.org.uk or call the sponsorship team on 020 3740 8206.  Find out more about the organisation and its wider programme of engagement with young people by visiting www.findafuture.org.uk.

The Skills Show Experience.  It provides young people with the chance to unlock their potential and get excited about the world of work.  Through hands-on experiential activities and skills competitions, it helps shape their futures and transforms lives.

Find a Future includes:

WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions, which champion and drive excellence in industry and education.  This is achieved by encouraging local and regional competition activities and hosting the flagship national finals at The Skills Show, as well as preparing outstanding competitors for international competitions.

The Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event which helps to shape the future of a new generation.  Attracting over 75,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore further education, skills and apprenticeships.  The Skills Show takes place this year from 19 to 21 November 2015 at the NEC Birmingham.

The Skills Show Experience, a nationwide programme of 300 skills and careers events took place in 2013-14 reaching 155,000 young people across the nation.  The events, delivered through collaborative partnerships and supported with European funds, are designed to respond to the local labour market needs.  The programme for 2015 is being confirmed.

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