My Future - Chesterfield launches the UK's first virtual careers fair
We keep being told about the challenging time our young people are going to have finding jobs - made more difficult when the traditional routes for obtaining information getting at careers fairs is no longer possible due to restrictions...
'My Future' is an innovative online careers and employability platform, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, and is helping employers reach prospective apprentices and future employees in a virtual, online careers fair.
It is completely free for young people to use and enables easy access to up to 100 businesses, education and training providers, across ten zones in a virtual careers fair setting. ‘My Future’ provides information about the business and allows apprentice positions to be advertised.
Developed by local business Oasis Studios, in response to a tender from a partnership of Chesterfield Borough Council, Destination Chesterfield and the D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, the platform uses 360expo software.
With present COVID restrictions, face-to-face careers fairs are not able to take place, resulting in young people not being able to easily access information about future apprenticeship positions.
‘My Future’ is designed to provide support for young people, and the platform aims to give local young people access to the widest range of high-quality careers advice, employment support, skills and educational programmes.
I recently attended a virtual breakfast event by Destination Chesterfield that introduced the platform to the local business community.
Ahead of its launch, careers leaders in the D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, who works with schools and colleges within Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, had already reached out to all Year 11 and Year 13 school leavers, encouraging them to access the ‘My Future’ platform. On GCSE results day, more than 150 young people logged on to the platform and spent on average 207 minutes exploring the virtual careers fair.
Oasis Studio Associate, Charlie Power explains, “The My Future platform is a pioneer in the world of exhibitions, and is a significant step as we adjust to a new way of life.
“As much as our 360expo software allows exhibitions to go ahead whilst social distancing restrictions are still in place, we believe the platform can assist exhibitions in the future once we can attend again.”
James Brand is a D2N2 LEP board member and Managing Director of Chesterfield-based, United Cast Bar, which is featured in the engineering and manufacturing zone on the platform. “’My Future’ is a fantastic platform which we were delighted to get involved with. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to reach out to young people during these challenging times. The platform will offer real support and guidance to school leavers who have been unable to access the careers information they would normally have had, and helps them make informed decisions about their future,” said James.
Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager, explained, “Everyone has worked tremendously hard to get the platform up and running. We have been overwhelmed by the support and involvement of businesses and training providers to make ‘My Future’ happen and support local school leavers during this challenging time”.
If you are a young person wanting to seek out the learning about the many opportunities available to you, please visit www.myfuture.org.uk.
If you are a local business who would like to be featured on the My Future platform, please contact Emily Williams (email: Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Words & Images: Destination Chesterfield