Speed networking helps young people understand the world of work

Organised through the Lancashire Careers Hub, Burnley’s Unity College held a ‘speed networking’ event for  Year 9 students.

Business leaders and representatives from North West companies shared their insights into their own working lives, explaining how they secured the position, their career path, and also answering questions about training and employment opportunities within their respective organisations.

Employers such as VEKA UK took part, alongside the likes of Calico, Burnley FC, Forbes Solicitors, and the Ministry of Defence.

Colette Hunter, Head of Sales Support with VEKA UK explained: “This event was an enjoyable and productive way to connect with students; it seemed like a great way to get them fired up about the many exciting career opportunities available across the North West.

“The ‘speed’ aspect of the event prevented it from becoming a typical ‘stuffy’ careers day, and it certainly kept me on my toes! Each group had around 10 minutes to ask questions before moving to the next person. We discussed everything from further education and how best to keep your future career options open to how to write a ‘stand out’ CV, as well as all the benefits that come with working at VEKA. I hope the young people at Unity found it as exciting and informative as I did.”

Ms Hunter is one of 148 volunteer Enterprise Advisers who participate in the Enterprise Adviser Network. The Network is delivered by Inspira, on behalf of the Lancashire Skills Hub and the  The Careers and Enterprise Company.

Unity’s Assistant Headteacher Zoe Hammond-Phillips said: “We were really grateful to Colette and everyone that took part in our quirky careers event. The students were lucky to welcome such a diverse range of organisations and get a taste of what sort of jobs are out there. The speed networking idea meant that they could ‘cut to the chase’ and ask the key questions that are important to them. We appreciate our guests taking the time to talk about all things careers, qualifications, and day-to-day work life; the event was thoroughly enjoyed by our students and staff – and hopefully, our visitors too!”

Kay Vaughan, Inspira’s Careers Hub Lead said, “It is so important that young people get the opportunity to engage with employers and understand the world of work. It makes such a difference to future career choices. We facilitate events like this throughout Lancashire and encourage all employers to get involved as an Enterprise Adviser or to ‘Give an Hour and participate in activities like this.”

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