Karin Smyth MP with the NHS apprenticeships team at the 2019 fair
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South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair returns for 2020

Bristol South MP Karin Smyth is again joining forces with City of Bristol College, Bristol City Council and the Department of Work and Pensions to bring you the South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair 2020.

The fair, which takes place at the South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove from 11am-3pm on Thursday 27 February, will bring together employers, training providers and apprenticeships organisations with job-seekers and school leavers.

Exhibitors include the college and council as well as some of the city’s employers, such as NHS, Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Bristol Port Company. There will also be representatives from organisations supporting people into employment, such as the National Careers Service.

This is the fourth year that Karin Smyth has run the free event with City of Bristol College, which follows National Apprenticeship Week on 3-9 February 2020.

“I’m delighted to be bringing you another South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair in partnership with City of Bristol College, Bristol City Council and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP),” said Karin Smyth, “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet the training providers, employers and all those people who are involved in supporting apprenticeships.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is a great opportunity for people seeking a route into work, and are keen to develop their skills and knowledge on the job. I am delighted that there are so many apprenticeship opportunities on offer across Bristol and that employers are committing to developing our city’s talent.”

Speaking at last year’s South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust Apprenticeship Co-ordinator Joanna Dunlop said: “The uptake has been brilliant – a really good breakdown of college students and pupils and a lot more adults, interested in all areas. We bought current jobs and even interviewed a couple of people during the day. This is the only event with this catchment and long may it last because it’s been brilliant.”

Andy Forbes, Principal of City of Bristol College, said: “Apprenticeships at City of Bristol College have so much to offer. The chance to earn money while you learn is a really good option, and in many areas you can now do apprenticeships right up to university level.”

Burges Salmon apprentice Gareth Parfitt was at the 2019 fair talking to people about his experience of the scheme. He said: “I found the university route to be really expensive and I’d had enough of reading from a textbook day-in, day-out; I wanted something that was a lot more practical so decided that an apprenticeship was way better for me.

“The practical side coupled with study works really well – I go to university on a Monday and on a Tuesday, whatever I’ve learnt, I go to work and put straight into practice. That works really well. If I pass all my exams, I should come out as a qualified solicitor without the debt of university.”

Karin Smyth added: “Apprenticeships offer a fantastic route to work and qualifications, including university degrees. We’ve had great feedback from previous fairs with people securing jobs and apprenticeships. The event is not just for school pupils but for their parents and grandparents as well as older people looking to re-enter the workplace or re-train.”

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