Andrew Jones, Member of Parliament for Harrogate and Knaresborough, organised the jobs fair to bring local employers and local job seekers together. With over 30 companies and 600 job seekers at the event Mr Jones was pleased that he had been able to help both the employers and the job seekers find new opportunities.
left to right: Jill Gibson, External Relations Manager for Jobcentre Plus Andrew Jones MP, Hannah Campbell, Business Development Manager at the National Apprenticeship Service, Andy Bayston, Principal at Harrogate High School and Emily MacDowell, Economic Development Officer at Harrogate Borough Council
The event also included practical workshops to help jobseekers, and these covered CV writing, using the internet to find a job, apprenticeships and interviews.
Speaking about the event Mr Jones said:
I have been aware for some time that employers in our area had vacancies to fill and that we also have people looking for work. The simple idea at the heart of the jobs fair was to bring the two together. People in our area want to be employed by local firms and there were plenty of opportunities for them here today. I’m really pleased with how the event went and I will be following up with the employers and some of the job seekers to see how they found it.
Collette Fowler from Northern Rail was delighted to have a stand at the jobs fair and was impressed with the job seekers who approached the Northern Rail stand.
As a major employer in the area this event provided an excellent opportunity for us to engage with hundreds of potential employees. This was an extremely productive and enjoyable event for our Recruitment Team and we look forward to taking part in future years.
Sarah Slater from Nidec SR Drives, an engineering and technology provider based in Harrogate, commented that the Jobs Fair was
An excellent opportunity to raise our company profile in the local area and to see the diversity and breadth of skills available on our doorstep.
We received significant interest from individuals attending the event and are seeing substantial follow-up enquiries afterwards.
Alongside the employers, Harrogate Borough Council found the jobs fair an ideal opportunity to promote their free business advice service. Located at the Enterprise Gateway, Harrogate College and offering a one-to-one appointment with an experienced business adviser, this free service is available to any resident in the Harrogate district thinking of starting a business and to companies that have been trading for up to three years. The council’s stand was busy throughout the day with many visitors expressing a strong interest in starting their own business.
The Harrogate Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) also expressed their gratitude to Mr Jones for holding the event and commented that they had interest from many people about volunteering and the benefits that it can bring when searching for work or even just to build confidence. Mr Jones invited the CVS to make job seekers aware of the volunteering opportunities in the Harrogate district and how valuable these opportunities can be when looking for work.
Mr Jones also asked the companies attending whether they would like to make a donation towards the cost of refreshments at the event – which were offered free of charge to all. In total £500 was received, most of which was surplus and will go to Claro Enterprises – Mr Jones’s chosen charity for the event – who are a social enterprise offering work to people with disabilities.