Nearly 300 students from Leicester and Leicestershire schools and colleges networked with 150 employers at an exciting speed networking careers event at Leicester Racecourse.
The students, aged between 13 and 18, took part in the region’s largest careers event of its kind organised by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership as part of the Leicester Business Festival.
Twenty-one schools/colleges, who are part of the LLEP’s Enterprise Adviser Network, sent pupils to the event. The morning session saw students ‘speed network’ under timed conditions with employers from many different business and public sector organisations. Morningside Pharmaceuticals, AXA PPP Healthcare, Crown Packaging,East Midlands Airport, Highcross Leicester, HORIBA MIRA, BT , NHS, Santander and Matiolli Woods were some of the companies in attendance.
Pupils spoke to different employers in bursts of six minutes before the employer moved on to the next students. In that time they asked employers about their career path, job role, the organisation they work for and the steps to employment.
Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP said: “We are working hard to build more engagement between schools, colleges and businesses through our work with the Careers and Enterprise Company. It is so important for young people to understand the employment opportunities available to them locally and which companies are located in Leicester and Leicestershire.
“Students don’t often get the chance to speak to so many ‘real employers’ in one morning and the event was oversubscribed with the number of schools and colleges wanting to attend. This event provides the perfect forum for them to ask questions and find out all sorts of interesting things about business and what they need to do to get on that first rung of their career ladder.”
This year’s event was sponsored by Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals Limited. The company has been manufacturing and supplying quality generic and branded medicines to the UK and internationally for over 25 years.
Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chief Executive of Morningside Pharmaceuticals and LLEP Board member, said: “I felt very privileged to be one of the employers taking part in the speed networking event. What struck me was how engaged and well prepared every young person I spoke to was.
“I was also immensely proud of our three young Morningside apprentices and a graduate who took part in a Q&A session, on stage, about their choices and experiences of the world of work. Hearing their first-hand accounts undoubtedly made a lasting impression on the students, and will help them make better informed decisions about their futures, when the time comes.
“The students who took part are the potential future workforce for our Leicestershire businesses. It was an excellent opportunity for both employers and students to connect and for the students to learn about the great career opportunities available in the many sectors represented.”