News story

The Skills Show 2015

The Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, is taking place at Birmingham’s NEC over the next 3 days (November 19 to 21).

Thousands of people are expected to pass through the doors to take part in the many events taking place and find out about skills and careers in each skill area of the show, where there will be:

  • competitions
  • ‘have a go’ experiences
  • spotlights
  • showcases
  • careers advice.

Skills areas of the show include:

  • The Studio - which gives visitors the opportunity to explore creative careers
  • The Business area - which looks at careers in business
  • The Works - which offers opportunities to sample skills in engineering and manufacturing
  • The Building - where skills in construction will be highlighted
  • The Street - where you can learn about the skills needed in retail, beauty and cooking

The Hubs are the beating heart of each skill area at the show and include ‘have a go’ sessions, where you try something you have never done before, and ‘have a go’ at job-related skills across a huge range of careers. Try your hand at skills such as TV production, demolition, welding, floristry and 3D modelling.

Located in each Hub, you will find one-to-one expert advice about careers, job opportunities, qualifications and training from the National Careers Service and National Apprenticeship Service, partners in the Skills Show, and Jobcentre Plus. You can find out about real opportunities that you can apply for such as work experience, apprenticeships, jobs and placements in this exciting and interactive part of the show.

In the spotlight areas, you can hear from real people doing real jobs and listen to talks from the Army, Theo Paphitis, NHS Careers, Nicky Clarke, Jaguar Land Rover, Prof Brendan Walker and Virgin Media, in more than 100 Spotlight talks.

The National Apprenticeship Service will be running two (identical) spotlight sessions on Thursday 19 November (10:25 – 10:45am) and Saturday 21 November (14:10 – 14:30) to inform young people, parents, teachers and careers advisors about the opportunities available with higher and degree apprenticeships and an insight into the sectors where they are available, and the employers offering them. You will have the opportunity to listen to real life case studies of apprentices and employers during the session. The session will also offer attendees detail and information on how to apply.

The Apprenticeship Schools Pack Resource and Schools Portal is also being launched at the Skills Show at 12pm on Thursday, 19th November, at the Made by Apprentices Stand – Hall 6

To support the Government’s ambitious target of 3 million new starts by 2020, the Skills Funding Agency has commissioned a number of projects to address improving awareness of apprenticeships in schools with teachers and also to support parents. One part of this project is being delivered by ‘Amazing Apprenticeships’ and will see the creation of an online portal that will host a range of useful resources.

The portal aims to provide easy-to-use content for teachers and parents to engage them in understanding apprenticeships more fully.

Resources include the Apprenticeship Pack for 16 to 19 year olds – a free workbook that teachers can use with their students to work through a range of interactive tasks and activities to understand apprenticeships, how to search for jobs and the recruitment process; short films – featuring apprentices in the workplace, apprentices developing technology of the future and higher and degree level apprentices; and free webinars – a series of free 15 minute webinars will run every Wednesday at 19:30 from January to June covering a range of topics linked to apprenticeships. They will be recorded and hosted on the site for anyone who misses the live broadcast. The project aims to connect with more than 500 schools between now and April.

On the showcase stages, you can see the UK’s finest students and learners reveal their talents and showcase their skills, from mobile robotics to theatrical makeup and aircraft engineering to cabinet making. A wide range of companies and organisations will also be exhibiting, showing what they do best and the opportunities on offer.

Other highlights include the Edge Foundation, a Lead Sponsor of The Skills Show, who will be showcasing some key projects in Hall 9. Visitors will get the chance to get hands-on with practical learning in a variety of ways. The final of the Edge Challenge – the enterprise competition that is seeking out the next generation of entrepreneurs – will also be taking place on Thursday afternoon at the Hall 9 Spotlight stage in The Street.

The UK’s most talented students and apprentices will also be going for Gold as they compete in the finals of the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions. Over 4,000 people register to take part in the competitions, which are designed to raise standards, esteem and exceptional talent. For the first time, Squad UK for the international WorldSkills Competition will be selected at The Skills Show. Those who have been named in Squad UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be announced during the Big Celebration on the evening of Saturday 21 November.

Find a Future will also host a selection of Inclusive Skills Competitions on Saturday, 21 November to enable young people with learning or physical disabilities to display their work skills and growing independence.

Also taking place at the Skills Show on the Thursday is the Large Employer Conference, an annual event organised by the Skills Funding Agency aimed at encouraging the UKs largest employers to engage with apprenticeships and to support the Governments 3 million ambition.

There are over 500 show team volunteers supporting The Skills Show, ready to help you. Dressed in yellow, they are easy to spot around and throughout the show. The event is open from 9am – 4pm on November 19th and 20th and 10am – 4pm on November 21st.