Hundreds flock to ‘absolutely fantastic’ Bexhill jobs fair

Huw Merriman, Marie-Ange Coxhead (Bexhill College), Paula-Weston Smith (Coastal Community Team), Stewart Drew (DLWP director), Martin Riley (Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president)
Huw Merriman, Marie-Ange Coxhead (Bexhill College), Paula-Weston Smith (Coastal Community Team), Stewart Drew (DLWP director), Martin Riley (Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president)
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Hundreds of hopeful jobseekers flocked to Bexhill’s first ever Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair on Friday (April 29), which the MP hailed as an ‘absolutely fantastic day’.

Huw Merriman helped to organise the fair at the De La Warr Pavilion which showcased more than 50 businesses and organisations, all with opportunities on offer.

The De La Warr Pavilion packed with hopeful jobseekers and businesses offering opportunities

The De La Warr Pavilion packed with hopeful jobseekers and businesses offering opportunities

The Bexhill and Battle MP thanked everyone who had supported the event and said the community-led initiative demonstrates what can be achieved through team work.

“This has been an absolutely fantastic day for Bexhill,” he said.

“When we planned this event, we felt that the time was right to highlight that Bexhill has a lot of talented local people and it is a great place to live, work and invest.

“From the fantastic feedback I’ve received today, I believe we were absolutely right.”

Huw Merriman MP speaking to Jay Wootten of Hastings Direct

Huw Merriman MP speaking to Jay Wootten of Hastings Direct

Queues of people eagerly awaited the opening of the fair at 10am and were warmly welcomed by volunteer ambassadors who were on hand all day to give guidance on how to get the best out of their visit.

Throughout the day the DLWP was buzzing with activity as businesses and organisations spoke to visitors about the employment and career opportunities they had on offer.

De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust director Stewart Drew said: “It was fantastic to see such a wide range of local businesses offering real live jobs, apprenticeships and training here in Bexhill, and to see such a wonderful response from those looking for work and work related opportunities.

“We set out to bring business and the community together to mutual benefit, and by the response it looks like Bexhill’s first jobs fair was a resounding success.”

Jobs seekers also had the opportunity to take part in Creative Café interactive sessions where they could informally chat to employers and training providers in more depth.

Feedback from these sessions demonstrated how useful they were and participants said they learned a lot about CV-writing, first impressions and one person said they found jobs they never knew existed.

Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president Martin Riley said: “I spoke to many of the exhibitors on the day, and they were all delighted with the quality of conversations taking place.

“By ensuring that work experience, apprenticeships, jobs and careers were clearly on offer, we had many candidates turning up ready with CVs in their pockets.”

Many exhibitors at the fair took the time to share their views with the project team after the event.

Barclays’ Bexhill branch manager Daniel Barnes said: “It was one of the best jobs fairs I have been to.

“There was a great atmosphere with an excellent turnout and we met a lot of very interesting potential recruits at the Barclays stand.”

Steve Baldry of Marshall Tufflex said they collected a number of applications for various vacancies and opportunities and had some good discussions with potential future employees and other organisations.

Jay Wootten of Hastings Direct said: “The Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair provided a great opportunity for us to meet lots of potential candidates and people interested in careers at Hastings Direct.

“We answered lots of questions around job and apprenticeship opportunities and we look forward to meeting with candidates to discuss potential roles.”

Wendy Gorham, of Young Enterprise, said the day went really well and the Creative Cafes worked well on the stage.

Federation of Small Businesses development manager Martin Searle said: “I thought it was the best careers fair events I have attended – really organised well with good footfall and a cool business feel.

“It is a great addition to economic growth plans for the area.”

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