Careers events and fairs are an ideal way for school leavers to seek out potential employers and get a feel for what kind of jobs are on offer.
For those who are still unsure as to what they want to do post-school, then a careers fair can be an excellent way to gain insight or inspiration. For those who are already sure of where they are going then a careers event can be a networking opportunity – a chance to meet companies face-to-face, discuss job openings or future vacancies, or even to hand in a CV and make the first step in a job application.
Careers events in the UK come in a wide variety of flavours: you have your massive national exhibitions like The Skills Show or The National Career Guidance Show, your regional events (e.g. Skills North West or Your Future Careers Fairs) and then you have sector or skills specific events (e.g. TheatreCraft or the STEM Apprenticeships Fair). On top of these, many schools and colleges will hold their own careers fairs and some larger corporations or training companies will have open days.
Whether you want to leave school after your GCSEs at 16 or later after A Levels or diplomas, NVQs, BTECs etc. at age 18 or later, there are lots of opportunities to attend career guidance events. Use them to widen your horizons, learn more about companies and professions, ask questions and practise talking to people in a professional manner.
Below, we present a careers events diary which is divided into three categories:
– national and regional events
– sector or skills specific categories
– other jobs fairs
Most of the events are specifically targeted at school and FE college leavers but we have included either general careers events or graduate fairs if they also have sections catering to young people aged 16-19.
If you think we have missed an event, please contact us and we’ll be happy to add it to the list as the idea is to keep updating it regularly.
National and Regional Careers Events
The National Career Guidance Show
There are three events under the NCG banner: Central (held in Leicester), London, North (held in Leeds). Free to visit, the NCG Shows are supported by the Career Development Institute, and the National Careers Service and National Apprenticeship Service.
For more information on the seminars and who will be exhibiting, as well as registration for free tickets go to their website here: http://www.nationalcareerguidanceshow.com/Home.aspx
The Skills Show
Claims to be the nation’s largest skills and careers event and it has a stated mission to “help to shape the future of a new generation”.You can register your interest to attend future Skills Show events here: http://www.findafuture.org.uk/the-skills-show/register-your-interest
What Career Live?
Held at the NEC in Birmingham – Free – pre-booking available on website (https://www.whatcareerlive.co.uk). Set up to help school leavers decide what to do next, whether it’s an apprenticeship, training programme or heading to university after A Levels.
What Career Live? is co-located with its sister show, What University Live? which will help school leavers identify and select which university they wish to apply to, and give parents the opportunity to find out more about costs, student fees and debt.
The National Apprenticeship Show
There are 2 events held under the NAS banner: The first is held at the Milton Keynes Arena and timed to take place during National Apprenticeship Week and the second at Manchester Central Complex in October.
Regional Skills Events
Targeted at 14-19 year olds, also parents and carers on the open evening. There are 5 events under the Regional Skills banner: North East Skills (http://northeastskills.co.uk – Newcastle), Skills North West (http://skillsnw.co.uk – Manchester), Skills Yorkshire and the Humber (http://www.skillsyh.co.uk – Leeds), Skills East of England (http://skillseastofengland.co.uk – Colchester), Skills South West (http://skillssw.co.uk – Plymouth)
Your Future careers fairs
A series of 250 events throughout England aimed at 14-24 year olds. Delivered by 36 regional Chambers of Commerce and supported by the Skills Funding Agency. Click here for a diary of the latest events and more information.
Held at the ExCeL Centre and aimed at 15-24 year olds, this two day event will provide young people with a chance to discover careers through interactive activities and demonstrations. Hosts a combination of educational institutions with employers under one roof, enabling visitors to find out about careers and the training required.
A careers and skills event for Wales, located in Cardiff and Llandudno and attracting up to 10,000 people and over 100 companies each year. More details can be found here: skillscymru.co.uk
East of England Careers Show
This event is organised by The Skills Service, which is part of Opportunity Peterborough. They will also be hosting the Fenland Careers Fair. Details can be found: here.
For school leavers, students or those just looking to explore career options. Businesses, colleges and former apprentices will be on hand to offer advice on a wide range of career opportunities. Free. To be held at The Growth Hub, Oxstalls Campus of the University of Gloucestershire. More details here: GFutures Skillsfest.
Sector or Skills Specific Events
Construction Apprenticeship Open Day – Edinburgh
A day to give young people the chance to find out about career routes into the construction industry and link up with employers and training providers.
A free-to-attend careers fair for anyone aged 16 – 25 who is looking at careers in backstage in theatre. Held at the Royal Opera House. Exhibitors range from training and education providers to theatre companies. Normally held in November but not confirmed yet, http://www.theatrecraft.org
STEM Apprenticeships Fair
For students throughout Hampshire to attend. The event is aimed to highlight the plethora of apprenticeships opportunities within the STEM industries in the local area. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stem-apprenticeships-fair-tickets-19821831632
Childcare and Health and Social Care – Manchester event
A chance to meet industry experts from the health and social care and childcare teams at Skills Company and gain information and guidance on what courses and apprenticeships are available. 1:1 interviews with the potential of a guaranteed Apprenticeship job interview or course offer will also take place. Find out more about this event here.
Career Flightpath Live
An aerospace and aviation careers fair with a special emphasis on apprenticeships and vocational courses in fields such as air transport and flight training. Organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society and hosted at its rather plush HQ in central London. Visitors require registration. Ticket booking available online here.
Gaelic Careers Fair
A chance for Gaelic speaking pupils to find out more about the jobs and industries where speaking Gaelic would be useful.
Milkround School Leavers Employability Event
Targeted at 16-18 years old school and college students. There will be one-off career workshops and presentations, CV tutorial clinics and the chance to meet UK employers.
Careers in Hospitality 2016
A bi-annual event held at the ExCeL (London) as part of Hotelympia’s dedicated careers fair. Meet leading hospitality brands, each one exhibiting at the event in full recruitment mode. More details here: http://www.freshmontgomery.co.uk/events-more.php?id=14
FutureWise Career Insights
These are a series of presentation and networking sessions with experts and leading UK employers focused around specific topics. Examples are: ‘Financial Careers in the City’, ‘Careers with Physics and Aerospace’, ‘TV and Film Career Insight’ plus many more. They are not free but there are discounts for FutureWise members. More detail here: Courses and Events
16 events to be held over the year offering practical support to candidates or current employees to find job opportunities within the hire sector. Targeted at 18-30 year olds. More detail here: Hire Association Europe (HEA).
Other Jobs or Careers Fairs
South London Jobs Fairs
An employment event for the South London area, with workshops and employers offering interviews on the spot. Organised by 3D Change C.I.C in partnership with housing associations and councils from across South London. https://www.southlondonjobsfair.co.uk
The Jobs Fair
A series of over 40 Job Fairs from January to November. A full calendar of all of events can be found here: http://www.thejobfairs.co.uk/job-fairs
Law Fairs (various)
Convinced you want to work in Law? Then why not attend a law fair held close to your home to see what it’s all about. Law fairs happen across the UK and are usually held by either law schools or the larger law firms. It’s true that they will be targeted mainly at graduates but if you see the words ‘Open Day’ in the event title then you’re free to attend and will be welcomed however young you are. Here’s a good diary of law events: http://www.lawcareers.net/Information/Diary