2016 Careers Convention

Following three years of planning Leigh Academies Trust held it first Trust Careers Convention for the students in the Dartford cluster. With in excess of 650 students attending the event, planning, logistics and execution were of significant importance. Thank you to everyone who worked as part of a very large team to ensure that the event took place in a relatively seamless manner.

careers convention

The invitations were sent out to participants in September 2015 to ensure a good attendance. Longfield Academy was the perfect venue for the event with the Lecture Theatre and Anderson College plaza. The event unfolded from 8am, when an empty Lecture Theatre and plaza gradually filled to accommodate the hubbub of the Careers event that started at 9am.

In total, 49 exhibitors attended the event. They occupied the Lecture Theatre, the downstairs area of Anderson Plaza and the Foyer. There was a real buzz throughout the day although, given the large numbers of students, it never felt as though the organisations were overwhelmed at any stage of the day.

Students were provided with professionally-printed booklets for the event, designed by the Trust’s graphics team and printed by Adgistics, who also supported the event.

All of the students were encouraged to talk to as many of the exhibitors as possible to expand their awareness of the various opportunities.

careers 2


Gavin Kirk from Clee Hill travelled from Chesterfield in Derbyshire and expressed satisfaction at being able to develop the contacts with schools around his plant sites. He plans to look at all of his plants nationally and develop good working relationships with the local schools. Clee Hill have offered the Trust the opportunity to take some of our students who are interested in practical careers to their plant in Dartford.

Jo Cassettari from Adecco was exceptionally pleased when the students who were due to undertake work experience this week with them introduced themselves and asked numerous questions about recruitment.

“Just thought I’d email and let you know that I have made some really useful contacts today. Really impressed.
A really good event!! Can’t wait till next years.” Anne Head, Longfield Academy

“Thank you so much for Friday – the students really found it useful and many came away really buzzing about things they had found out.” Jane Gordon, The Leigh UTC

“I thought the quality was excellent with the number of stalls there.” Rebecca Roberts, Wilmington Academy

I thought the event was an enormous success. Our students engaged in conversation with unfamiliar people, in an unfamiliar setting, about their skills and qualities. Our students asked relevant, careers-related questions to a variety of people, and came out of the event with real enthusiasm. This linked really well with their careers education this past year. I thought the attendees (at the stalls) were brilliant, and should be lauded for how well they interacted with our students.Kyle Marsh, Milestone Academy

Students’ comments:

“I liked how the stalls were done.”

“It had a very wide range of choices so that made it hard for me to pick!”

“It was fine. It was very organised. It was very appealing, and it showed you what they had available for you.”

“I liked it because it was interesting.”

One student picked up a university catalogue, and is creating a plan that will get him into the programme of his choice (languages). This is an achievable, medium-term goal for him.

“I talked to a few of the Universities at the Careers Convention and found out a few details about them, their services and how to join. The people at the convention were engaging and friendly. I also spoke to a man from the Army who told me about the different roles and requirements in the Army. I also spoke to the man from the gaming company who told us about different code and information.” Student, The Leigh Academy

“I found the careers convention a little useful because I learned a few more facts and other stuff about the Army, for example I learned that you need a British citizenship to get into the Army.” Student, The Leigh Academy

Feedback from parent:

“My daughter found the event really useful and she is now considering nursing.” Parent, The Leigh Academy

Feedback from staff:

“The delegates were very attentive, took care of our students, answered every question.”

“Very well organised.”

“A very useful outing.”
“It was a superb event with so many local employers promoting a range of future career ideas for our students”. Simon Beamish, Chief Executive, Leigh Academies Trust

“It was a very successful event and it was good to see a number of local employers in addition to the larger organisations.

The logistics of moving such a large number of students from all the participating schools was very well organised and it was a delight to see them conduct themselves with such maturity.” Clive Barker, Governor, The Leigh UTC