People were queuing at the door waiting for the opening of Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson’s third annual Jobs and Opportunities Fair on Friday.
Twenty-two organisations were present at the fair held at The Muni in Colne and numbers through the doors topped at just over 800.
The range of companies from Pendle and Burnley offering employment including some ever-presents and others which were making their fair debut, expressed their satisfaction at the skilled people in attendance.
On top of jobs being up for grabs, advice was also available on apprenticeships and gaining job experience and mock interviews were taking place on The Muni stage to improve technique to get people over that final hurdle.
Helen Monk, from Stocks Hall C are Group said: “It’s our second time at the fair and we find it really good for recruiting for talents in people as well as qualifications.
“We have also built links with other business and found it good for networking.”
Leigh Myers, from wholesale food suppliers Wellocks said: “A lot of people know about Wellocks and we are looking for talented staff. We are having a big expansion at the moment. Hopefully we will get a quite a few through the door.”
As well as those who were unemployed and looking for work, there were people working part-time wanting more and school children from some of Pendle’s secondary schools who were invited along to see the array of opportunities employers offer.
Dominic Simpson, teacher at Fisher More RC High School, said the school were at the fair to give pupils an idea about the range of jobs out there and to continue the school’s good work in having no children leaving as NEETS – people not in education, employment or training.
He said: “We have got a couple of Year 11 pupils here today who are still not sorted for next year but we have brought along Year 10 children to show them what they can do with their careers.”
Of those looking for work who provided feedback at the fair, 93% said that it had been useful to them, 70% said it helped them to find what they wanted, 88% found the presentations or mock interviews were useful and 90% said that their next step would be to follow up the leads and apply for the jobs.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson took to Twitter to say that he was “gutted” to be missing his own fair after having his appendix removed in an emergency operation the previous evening.
Jan Styan said: “Of the numbers who came, about half were from the job centre and half not signed on.
“Although the numbers were not as high where we had 1,200 last year, it may well be that there are fewer people unemployed.
“We are also aware that the organisations felt that the skills and qualifications people held this year was significantly higher in terms that they were seeing many more people who had the skills they need.
“All the feedback I have seen from organisation’s says it was really worthwhile for them as many were looking for skilled employees they could take on straight away.”