First Intuition sponsored and attended Form the Future’s annual Apprenticeship Careers Fair at Impington Village College. The event offered around 1,200 students from Years 10-13 across Cambridgeshire the chance to gain more insight into apprenticeship opportunities. Meaning they have the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about their future.
Gareth John, CEO of First Intuition and Chair of the CA Skills Group, shared his thoughts about the event:
“Form The Future’s annual Apprenticeship Careers Fair goes from strength to strength! A huge well done to Anne, Steve, Catherine, Kath and their amazing team for bringing together some brilliant Cambridgeshire-based employers with an even larger number of young adults than ever before.
“The energy was incredible right from the very start! It was truly amazing seeing global giants like Arm, Mott MacDonald, Deloitte and Grant Thornton exhibiting alongside national brands including Savills and Bidwells, large regional employers like Ensors and iconic Cambridge brands Addenbrookes Hospital, Marshall, PEM and Lakin Rose.
“It really emphasised the amazing diversity of opportunities that apprenticeships offer young people considering careers in sectors across the whole economy.”
First Intuition also had two of its Skills and Development Coaches delivering interactive employability skills workshops for the students. They found that the students were “very proactive and responsive when we asked what skills they’ve used during the group activities.”
We asked some of the other local employers exhibiting stands at the event for their thoughts about the day:
What have you found most useful about the day?
“It has been really interesting to see what the younger generation are looking for in terms of careers and what interests/motivates them. They have asked a lot of interesting questions, such as the University vs Apprenticeship routes. Not many know that apprenticeships can be done without going to university and there are alternative routes.”
“It has been really nice to see what people want from us and what information they require from us as an employer. Many had questions about accountancy and how to get into this route.”
“It has been fantastic to see all the different age groups and educations into one location. It is a credit to Form the Future for getting all these different employers together.
“We have found that is has been a good challenge to have the discussions around apprenticeships. As well as showing students that there are many options for careers after school.”
“It has been useful to get our name out there, as we are a small business and we are not as established as some of the other employers here. It is our first time to this event and I think it is important that students know who we are.
“Another useful part of this is interacting and talking with the students, there is such a variety of them and they seem really engaged.”
“I really felt there was a captive audience today, students really seem quite open to conversations and learning more about the NHS.
“Overall, I think there has been a great mix of students and positive interaction from teachers too.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about psychology and research, which has generated some good conversations but also means we can gather more information on this for next time.”
What have you taken away from this event?
“We have taken on board the questions that have been asked and for next time. Making sure we have resources available to answer those questions, such has how to be an accountant and show-casing the qualifications in more detail.”
“There have been some great questions from the older students, which have resulted in some really in-depth conversations surrounding careers in accountancy. This is a new event for the team, so it was all a learning experience to see what the students require from these events.
“It is good to hear what type of questions they ask and being able to take this away for future events and providing more information.
Finally, we have found it really interesting seeing all the different employers/companies that have apprenticeships and jobs going.”
“It has been great to engage with a wide range of students, from a variety of different backgrounds and educations. There are specific schools, such as the Maths college, who expressed great interest in all accountancy-based careers and employers. Those conversations have been really valuable.”
“Taking away from this, the aim for us is to get the word about for the options available after school and hopefully see students at our careers event to talk through more options and speak to additional employers.
“It is a really valuable conversation to showcase that there is many more viable options after GCSE, which is not just set around apprenticeships.”
Has the event been informative for students?
“Yes, it has informed students as some of the conversations showed that many students didn’t know what careers existed until they had these conversations with us and other employers. The engagement from students has been really great.”
“Yes, we felt the students were informed. We spoke to students about work experience and how they can get into that, to see if they really like the world of accountancy. Most weren’t sure how this worked. We tried our best to give useful information!”
We also asked some of the students attending the event for their thoughts about the event:
What have you found most useful about today?
“It is nice to see what different careers are out there.”
“It gives you a chance to speak with employers and see what you need to do to get a job in certain areas and roles.”
What has been your favourite part of the event?
“The free material and resources like the flyers and highlighters.”
“Learning about different jobs and career opportunities.”
“My favourite part was the range of companies to talk to so I can see what options I have as well as university.”
What do you think of the workshops running? Have you been to any?
“The workshops were good, it is nice to see what employers are looking for and the skills required.”
“It is really interesting to hear from different companies .”
What will you take away from today?
“I am going to consider an apprenticeship as well as going to university.”
“I will sign up for the Accountancy Academy.”
“Finding out that you can still be an accountant even if you aren’t the best at maths.”
“You will still need to do further exams even after going to University.”
Have you learnt more about apprenticeships from today?
“Yes, you spend about one day a week learning instead of working.”
“You can do an apprenticeship from 16 years old.”