Hastings Observer Column - 27 September

It is hard to believe that today I am holding my ninth Hastings Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair. That means 9 years of getting more people into work and seeing 540 additional businesses trade in our towns.

I hold the fair each year to bring together local organisations that can help with employment face-to-face with local residents seeking work or simply looking for a change in careers. It has been great to hear directly from our residents about some of their success stories from the fair.

(waiting for stats on how many interviews/jobs were offered following last year’s fair)

Hastings and Rye has many growing businesses which are looking for staff, and new jobs and apprenticeships are being created across the constituency and East Sussex on an almost daily basis. However, for many who are unemployed, it often remains challenging to find the right opportunities; this is where the Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair can help.

Over the last nine years these fairs have brought many people looking to enter or regain employment into contact with employers eager for their talents, and I know that many opportunities were created and realised as a result. Companies who are attending this year range from the British Army and Barclays Bank to Home Instead Senior Care and Southern Water.

This fair will be the most innovative yet as interactive stands and work groups will give job seekers fantastic introductions to employers, the roles which are available and the skills required. As ever, attendees will also have access to the careers hubs providing employment and training advice.

These events are an excellent way for job seekers to identify local vacancies which meet their talents and ambitions, and to make contact with the businesses and employers who can offer a bright future in employment.

It is good news that our country’s unemployment rate has remained at its lowest since 1975 but I am aware that there is still work to be done. The Fair is not only for those looking for work: everyone is welcome to attend. If you’re looking for a change in career or even a school leaver looking to find out more about what apprenticeships are all about, I hope you will consider joining me at the Fair. It is being held at East Sussex College Hastings Campus between 10:00 and 15:00 on Friday 27th September. Don’t miss out!