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The Gazette's Job and Careers Fair held at The Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke proved to be a great success
THERE was a real buzz at The Gazette ’s Jobs and Careers Fair attended by more than 400 people.
Held at The Apollo Hotel, in Basingstoke, last Wednesday, the event was organised by The Gazette’s recruitment sales manager Linda Cenci.
She said: “It’s been a couple of years since we held a jobs and careers fair and I’m pleased to say that this one was a great success. Everybody said there was a real buzz in the air.
“We had 22 stands of prospective employers and we had over 400 people come through the doors, which was fantastic.
“Speaking to the companies that took up stands, they said how delighted they were with the venue and the calibre of people who attended.
“We had a broad range of people, from those looking for admin work to those at director level.
“Given the success of this event, I’m looking forward to organising our next fair which we are planning to hold in January 2013.”
Among those impressed with the event was a new organisation to Basingstoke called Lean Engineering and Manufacturing Academy (LEMA), based at Basingstoke College of Technology.
Academy manager Charles Stewart said: “We’re here to make people aware of LEMA and that we’re offering a different way of offering apprenticeships to 16 to 18-year-olds.”
He was impressed with the young people attending the fair, including a potential engineering apprentice, Chris Gargett.
Currently unemployed, the bright 18-year-old said: “The fair had a diverse range of businesses and organisations. “It was definitely worthwhile coming and I’ll be getting in touch with LEMA again.”
Businesses came from north Hampshire and further afield, including the team from a new start-up called Carenecessities Healthcare, based in Alton.
Co-owner Sally Claughton said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from applicants today – it’s been an amazing day.” John Prendagast, from Bluebird Care, said his business has a number of part-time and full-time opportunities.
He said: “Today has been excellent. We have had a lot of people interested in care work and really what we are looking for is continuing to recruit care workers for our established Newbury office, but also looking for care workers for our new office in Hook, which we opened in May.
“It’s been really good and we have seen some good people, so it’s been very worthwhile.”
And for those looking for opportunities to go into business themselves, Tom Whatling, from Autosmart International, was on the lookout for potential franchisees.
Tom said: “It’s been really encouraging and we’ve had lots of people come up to the stand.
“We are a British manufacturer of cleaning chemicals, selling workshop and janitorial products. We have a number of franchise opportunities in the south, most notably in Basingstoke.”
HR assistant Rachael Hopkins from acquisitions and mergers specialist BCMS, based in Kingsclere, said: “We are recruiting for a number of roles. For instance, we have a place for a business consultant role and a mid-market business analyst.”
Pleased with the fair, Rachael said: “There’s been no tumbleweed moments. There has been a steady flow of people.”
It proved to be a very fruitful day for Imperial Cars group general sales manager Simon Elder.
Commenting on the first job fair he had ever attended, he said: “I think it’s been very good. |“There’s been quite a lot of people and some interesting characters and they will be sending me details with a view to setting up interviews for sales executives for our Fleet branch.” Jacquie Chart and Ahmed Bawa, from Rosemount Financial Solutions, also had a productive day.
Jacquie said: “We’ve got some good quality CVs and a few to follow up. We’re looking for people to fill marketing and telemarketing roles and we are always looking for financial advisors, but, of course, they need to be fully qualified.”
Offering sound advice on putting together a winning CV was Jan Page and her team from the National Careers Service. Throughout the day, they were busy giving tips on how to perfect a CV, in addition to a well attended workshop.
While the National Careers Service was the last stand to sign up for last week’s jobs and careers fair, they were the first to book a place for January’s event.
Linda Cenci said: “I would like to personally thank all of the companies who attended and I hope that they all had a great success in finding the candidates they were looking for.”