Young people flocked through the doors in their hundreds as the Metro Arena in Newcastle opened its gates on  21 and 22  September for the North East Skills Event; and an enthusiastic team from Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) were there to greet them. The exhibition was organised by Regional Skills Events, who spearhead events designed to encourage discussion and give insights into life after school.


The skills shows are aimed at motivated young people aged 15-24 currently considering their next steps. Over fifty different organisations pitched up their stalls; apprenticeship providers, colleges, traineeship suppliers and universities, eager to engage, ILE among them. Advice, information and interaction were the name of the day, all intended to ensure that young people are equipped with the knowledge to make a well informed decision about which route to take next. And based on our experience of providing IAG in schools for years, our attendance was crucial.


Stationed on the right hand side of the arena, our stand was positioned roughly midway. Despite being here to discuss our wide range of apprenticeships on offer, we wanted to showcase a particular talent in the form of professional barber and Trainer Assessor Paul Stewart, who exhibited his barbering ability throughout the event, giving learners a taste of just some of the skills they could acquire through on-the-job learning. After getting the go ahead from guardians, young men flocked into the barber’s seat to test Paul’s barbering skills. Boy, did he impress!



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Our stand was constantly abuzz with promising apprentices interested in finding out more about the opportunities available to them from our approachable and lively team of Apprenticeship Resourcing Executives. Inspiring young people about the world of apprenticeships, we advised and informed attendees from secondary schools and colleges from across the region, eager to hear more about our opportunities and how they can apply. Throughout the event, we noticed a keen interest in Business, Law & Administration vocational qualifications, which continue to be the frontrunners in popularity. Throughout 2015-2016, there were a whopping 106,020* new starts in this sector, that’s 28% of all new starts for the period.


The North East Skills Event provided us with the chance to showcase the skills that we can provide aspiring learners with, and ultimately, allowed us to instil our passion for apprenticeships in young people. Through engagement with potential future candidates, we were able to listen to their needs and advise them on their next course of action. In summary, an incredible few days were had by all!


*Skills Funding Agency, Apprenticeships by Sector Subject Area, Level & Age XLS.