OVER 1,750 students from Peter Symonds attended the college’s annual Progression Fair before Government lockdown, with more than 80 universities, businesses and organisations available to showcase a range of career and education opportunities post-18.

A diverse range of exhibitors offered information and advice on degree courses, higher and degree apprenticeships, training, employment and practical information.

A number of leading businesses including IBM, PWC, Simply Health, Fujitsu and Home Office Border Control among others attended, and many took advantage of the opportunity to showcase their apprenticeship schemes. Will Holmes, who is on an ExxonMobil Apprenticeship Programme, explains “I wanted to do something a bit more ‘on-site’, […] a bit more practical than learning within a classroom. And then you end up learning a trade with all the benefits that come with it.”

Universities from around the UK were also well represented. Universities included Kings College London, UWE Bristol, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. University of Winchester co-sponsored the event and representative Alix Hickman said: “We have really enjoyed meeting your students today. They have obviously given lots of thought to their futures and came prepared with questions about courses and careers. Having a mix of education providers and jobs has meant that students have been able to find out about the routes in to careers and about the careers that various qualifications can lead to.”

Service personnel from the RAF, Army and Royal Navy and representatives from Hampshire Constabulary and Home Office Border Force were all available to speak with students.

Debbie Mahoney, head of careers at Peter Symonds, said: “We were extremely pleased with the large number of students who attended the fair and observing how motivated and keen students were to explore their options and speak to exhibitors.”