Growing careers fair gives Sleaford students inspiration for the future

Hundreds of Sleaford area students have had the chance to ponder their future and seek inspiration at St George’s Academy’s annual careers fair.
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The all-day event on Thursday (March 7) was so vast it was held across two halls at the school, with businesses and employers in one and mostly universities, colleges and academies setting up shop in the other.

It also ran into the evening so parents could attend.

The morning was taken up with Year 9, 10, 11 and sixth form students from St George’s Sleaford campus, with the afternoon session dedicated to Years 9 to 11 from St George’s Ruskington site and students from Carre;s Grammar School and Kesteven and Sleaford High School.

Jason Easterling of Green Man Gongs lets Year 11 St George's student James Snowball have a go at the careers fair.Jason Easterling of Green Man Gongs lets Year 11 St George's student James Snowball have a go at the careers fair.
Jason Easterling of Green Man Gongs lets Year 11 St George's student James Snowball have a go at the careers fair.
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The young people could consider a career path ranging from alternative gong therapy to the fire service, technology and legal firms to the Armed Forces, as well as sports and engineering qualifications. There were both local and national employers represented too.

Sophie Macdonald, Head of Careers at St George’s, was confident that the event has grown in status in the business and academic community, attracting repeat exhibitors as well as new ones.

She said: "We have had over 60 exhibitors from local businesses to national universities as well as specialist colleges such as music and drama.

"We have had more universities wanting to take part and some local high street independent business getting involved such as Specsavers.”

Alice and David Weatherley of Walnut Care, demonstrating how their Home Care Cadets learn to ask key questions about clients' preferences when caring for them.Alice and David Weatherley of Walnut Care, demonstrating how their Home Care Cadets learn to ask key questions about clients' preferences when caring for them.
Alice and David Weatherley of Walnut Care, demonstrating how their Home Care Cadets learn to ask key questions about clients' preferences when caring for them.
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She added: “It provides an opportunity for students to feel empowered to explore further industry opportunities and higher education providers. It improves students’ outlook and aspirations and they are becoming more and more engaged each year.

“Awareness of sporting studies is definitely rising too, along with careers in sport.

"It was really positive with higher engagement and exhibitors were really positive, being asked wonderful questions. It is nice to see students are really considering their future.”

A newcomer this year was former local man Jason Easterling, who was demonstrating how people could follow their passion, having moved back from Cornwall bringing his sound therapy business, Green Man Gongs.

Natalie Smith of Lincoln University Technical College at the St George's Academy careers fair.Natalie Smith of Lincoln University Technical College at the St George's Academy careers fair.
Natalie Smith of Lincoln University Technical College at the St George's Academy careers fair.
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Students were enjoying trying out a massive gong suspended behind his stall.

Father and daughter team David and Alice Weatherley were there with their business Walnut Care, of Langrick near Boston.

David was informing people about his Home Care Cadets scheme, a sort of apprenticeship where young people can gain and insight into social care and learn the ropes, sometimes treating it as a taster stepping stone to nursing.

David said: “I am also an enterprise adviser and am really keen to get people on board. We now have our own learning hub based at Spilsby and cover the whole of Lincolnshire. I am keen to work with Lincolnshire kids and recruit home grown talent.”

Jamie Laurence of Boston United Football and Education Academy.Jamie Laurence of Boston United Football and Education Academy.
Jamie Laurence of Boston United Football and Education Academy.
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Lincoln University Technical College is an institution in its own right, based in the city specialising in engineering, science and technology training.

Natalie Smith from the UTC said they specifically teach 14 to 19 year olds at a time when STEM skills are at a premium.

Boston United Football and Education Academy was offering an alternative for sporting-minded students. Jamie Lawrence is Head of Education there and said it was the first time they had attended the careers event.

He explained: “We have sports courses, business courses and degrees. There is a big push to attract girls aged 16 to 19 into football. We have gone from 40 to 80 students on our books in a year."

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Jamie said that although some may not be Premier League material, students can train to go into coaching. "We have a coaching academy with 20 students now going into primary schools delivering sport sessions,” he said.

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