Skills Show wows crowds in Birmingham

Skills Show wows the crowds in Birmingham

The nation’s largest skills and careers event, the Skills Show, attracted over 73,000 visitors in November. It hosted the finals of this year's World Skills UK competitions, including an environmental science competition supported by Prospect and the British Geological Survey.

The three-day event, now in its third year, is famous for its hands-on and interactive activities, which are designed to appeal to a younger audience.

Over 600 finalists took part in 64 different World Skills UK competitions.

Environmental science competitors were asked to develop a 30-year energy plan for a fictional island hit by an underwater earthquake and subsequent tidal wave. The winnners were Elliot Kean and Will Harrison from North Notts College, who are studying environmental conservation.

Other finalists in this year’s competition came from East Norfolk College, Mid Kent College and South West College Ulster.

Prospect’s director of communications and research Sue Ferns said: “Prospect’s contribution provides opportunities to reach out to the next generation of scientists and engineers and make them aware of the wide-ranging support provided by unions.

“It also enables Prospect to engage with a wide range of students, tutors and employers and to raise awareness of Prospect’s apprenticeship app.”

Highlights included 49 ‘Have a Go’ stations, giving visitors a chance to try their hand at anything from web design to forestry.

Visitors try out activities

A series of Spotlight talks provided insights into careers by showcasing real people doing real jobs, including deputy prime minister Nick Clegg on how he got into politics.

Ross Maloney, chief executive of Find a Future, which oversaw the event said: “The skills show engages and excites young people with a wide range of different activities and this is something we are keen to build on for 2015 and beyond.”

The date and venue have been set for 2015: the skills show will return to the Birmingham NEC from 19-21 November. Organisations can register their interest now.