WMCA holds online summer careers festival for young people to find out more about their options

Young people are being urged to join a week-long online summer careers festival to find out more about the opportunities available to them.

As thousands of young people from across the region consider their future following their A-level and GCSE results, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is organising a week of free virtual opportunities fairs to showcase a wide range of options.

A series of online interactive sessions will be taking place from Monday to Thursday next week (24-27 August), covering careers, further education, access to employment, and volunteering, health and wellbeing.

WMCA holds online summer careers festival for young people to find out more about their options

This is part of the WMCA’s #WMStrong summer programme, which offers thousands of training courses, work placements and other upskilling opportunities to prepare young people for further education or employment.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The post-exam period is always a tricky time for young people as they weigh up their future options, but this has only been made harder by the coronavirus pandemic, with the economic fallout expected to hit the younger generations the hardest.

“Many will be unsure about the options open to them this year, which is why the West Midlands Combined Authority has teamed up with local colleges, employers, and charities, to host special online sessions. From training programmes and further education courses, to apprenticeships and full-time employment, we want young people to have all the options available to them and to help them have the best possible start to their career.

“I’d urge all young people – especially those who are leaving school or college and need to decide what to do from September – to join the events next week and find out more from our expert speakers about the opportunities that are available now.”

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, added: “Our young people are our future and it’s crucial that we help them through this difficult time.

“These events will be particularly important for young people and there is a wide range of training opportunities on the WMCA website, in sectors including construction, digital and healthcare, and I would urge anyone who isn’t sure about their next step to see how we can help.”

Details of the events follow below:

Monday 24 August: Careers Day. There will be speakers from a wide range of sectors, including construction, digital, and health and social care. Advisers from the National Careers Service will also be on hand to give further guidance in live chats throughout the day.

Tuesday 25 August: Further Education Day. An interactive live session will feature speakers from local colleges, who will give an overview of the courses on offer from September and how to apply. The WMCA will also be sharing videos from local colleges through its social media channels to show the range of opportunities available for young people.

Wednesday 26 August: Access to Employment. This event is aimed at young people who are interested in starting full-time or part-time work now. Speakers will include representatives from big brands such as BT, Bupa and Diageo about their Access to Employment programmes, work placements and job vacancies that they are recruiting for now.

Thursday 27 August: Get Involved/Health and Wellbeing Day. This event is for young people who are unsure of what to do next but keen to stay active and get involved in something positive. This session will advise young people on volunteering opportunities, contributing to social action projects, staying fit and taking care of their physical and mental health. Speakers will include representatives from The Prince’s Trust and Sport Birmingham.

Hosted by former BBC Radio 1xtra DJ and social media influencer Sideman and other local influencers, each session will also feature a DJ, and there will be a chance to win prizes.

To book your place on one or more of the events, visit the WMCA webpage www.wmca.org.uk/wmstrong

For further information about how the WMCA is helping local people gain new skills and jobs, visit https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/covid-19-support/online-resources/

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