Major Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair returns to Darlington College

A COLLEGE and an MP proved they mean business when it comes to jobs after staging a major employment fair in the Tees Valley.

MP Peter Gibson with Darlington College’s school and community liaison officer. Samantha Matthews at the annual jobs fair.

Around 40 organisations packed the atrium at Darlington College for a jobs fair organised for the second year running by the town’s MP Peter Gibson.

Businesses, charities and training organisation took the opportunity to network with each other, college students and schoolchildren who were visiting the campus.

Mr Gibson said: “We are even more connected than before and all the organisations are here because they have opportunities. There is so much information out there but face-to-face interaction really helps as it gives people an opportunity to chat about what it is really like to work for these organisations, which you can’t get from an advert or by watching a video.

“The fair is about bringing all this together in a fantastic place of learning like the college. I am delighted to see so many people here exhibiting and recruiting in a place which has a real buzz about it.”

For the charity the Morrison Trust the jobs fair was a chance to showcase the skills of some of the 300 Ukrainians it deals with and others who are striving to overcome barriers to work.

Recruitment consultant Vikki Wilson said: “We have so much talent in this area, particularly the Ukrainians who really want to work and are highly skilled. We have translators and organise healthcare pathways to help doctors and nurses into the NHS, which benefits the community. Events like this, where we can link with the college and other organisations, are fantastic.”

Raby Estate administrator Lesley Renteurs, centre, and HR executive Stephanie Bell explain the opportunities available.

Representatives from Raby Estates were also on hand to discuss a diverse range of career opportunities.

Raby Estates comprises of substantial landholdings and trading operations across County Durham and Shropshire including popular visitor attractions  Raby Castle and High Force Hotel & Waterfall. Opportunities include the restoration of heritage buildings such as the newly restored Gainford Hall, forestry management, arable and livestock farming and a portfolio of let farms and residential properties. .

The Rising Development scheme at Raby Castle offers retail, hospitality, event spaces and gardens will also lead to a raft of jobs. Estate administrator Lesley Renteurs said: “We currently supporting around 166 jobs with opportunities ranging from tourism to conservation, construction  and forestry.”

Darlington College’s marketing and employer engagement manager Claire Turner said: “So much of everyone’s work is carried out remotely since the pandemic and events like these are a greater reminder of the value of meeting face-to-face.

“Businesses, charities and learners of all ages and levels have benefitted from the jobs fair which has been a truly exciting venture to be part of.

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