Despite severe weather warnings and much of the county closing its doors on Friday (March 2), it was business as usual for the annual Bexhill Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair, which went full steam ahead and proved a huge success.
Hundreds of delegates turned up suited, booted and ready for work, with just two of the 52 registered exhibitors unable to attend.
The high number of attendees and camaraderie on the day proved that it takes more than a spell of bad weather to dampen the spirit of local businesses and jobseekers.
The non-profit, community led event, held at the De La Warr Pavilion, welcomed 50 local employers and more than 350 delegates, with hundreds of live vacancies available on the day; as well as workshops, apprenticeships and training opportunities.
Jobseekers were more diverse in terms of age and background than ever before.
Diane Rysdale, Hastings Direct recruitment operations director, said: “The Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair 2018 was another great event for Bexhill and we were delighted to be part of it.
“It was great to see so many people looking for work and attending the various employability and CV workshops.
“Our Hastings Direct team spoke to lots of prospective employees and it was great for one of our colleagues, who we met at last year’s fair, to share her Hastings Direct story.”
Martin Riley, president of the Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said: “I spoke to many exhibitors, all of whom were very impressed with the show; both quality of organisation and mix of candidates.
“Everyone I spoke to wants to be involved next year.”
Employers ranged from huge Bexhill-based multi-nationals to local, family-run businesses, with industries ranging from construction to design to commerce to needlework.
Huw Merriman MP said: “Now in its third year, the Bexhill Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair has fully established itself as a useful and engaging event for jobseekers and employers alike.
“I would like to thank all our local partners who have worked hard to make it such a great success.
“It is a great example of local team work and, as ever, we could not do it so well without the support of Stewart Drew, the CEO, and his amazing team at the De La Warr Pavilion who create the perfect venue for this busy annual event.
“A great day for local business and a testament to the unbreakable spirit of our thriving community, proving once and for all that Bexhill really is #readyforgrowth.”