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Horsham District Council’s first Apprenticeship Fair attracts over 1,000 people

Over 1000 people flocked to Horsham District Council’s first Apprenticeship Fair, which took place at the Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham on Saturday 10 March.

Nearly 30 exhibitors, including apprentice employers, training providers, colleges, and universities, provided information and advice, as well as over 300 opportunities, on the day. There were some major employers from the area, including Gatwick Airport and Nestlé, as well as some new companies offering apprenticeships for the first time.

Hannah Whickman from Gatwick Airport commented: “It was a great success and we’ve seen a number of applications come in over the weekend for our apprentice scheme.”

The event, organised by Horsham District Council, in partnership with West Sussex County Council and local secondary schools, aimed to provide a platform for anyone wanting to find out about apprenticeships and the new style of standards being offered. With Horsham District Council now offering its own significant apprenticeship programme, it is in a strong position to help promote the increasing value of apprenticeships to local businesses. Indeed, the Council had three of its own apprentices on duty on the day, to help manage the event.

Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, Gordon Lindsay, attended the event and was impressed by the exhibitors and the numbers attending: “There was an amazing variety of businesses represented at the fair, from small independents, such as Architectural Plants, and Horace Fuller, to large corporates, such as Nestle, Gatwick Airport, and UK Border Service.

“It is a sign of the times that there are so many more opportunities, not only for young people not wanting to go to university, but also for more mature workers wanting to change their career path or upskill themselves.

“I was impressed with the number of young people, but also with how many parents attended to find out about career and training opportunities that do not involve university entrance. We hope this event goes some way to ensuring apprenticeships are represented as a real and meaningful alternative to university”

The next employment event, organised by Horsham District Council, will be the Jobs and Skills Fair to be held in the Drill Hall on Wednesday 19 September. If you are an employer expecting to be recruiting around that time, please contact leigh.chambers@horsham.gov.uk

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