AT least 4,000 students and more than 70 employers are set to gather for Dorset’s first Careers and Apprenticeship Show.

The event, at the BIC on Wednesday, September 26, allows young people, trainers and recruiters to meet each other on a scale not possible through individual school events.

Employers such as Sunseeker, JP Morgan, and Cobham are supporting the show, which is being supported by Southern Universities Network (SUN) and a host of partners.

The event comes at a time when unemployment stands at its lowest for 43 years, with many businesses concerned about a skills shortage.

Paul Tansey, president of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and founder of Poole marketing business Intergage, said: “From my perspective, as an employer it makes good business sense to attend. We all need young talent in our businesses to replace and replenish as well as to grow our workforce.

“It’s just not practical to attend 40 different careers events in Dorset to promote our industry and our business to young people. The Careers and Apprenticeship event is one which will give us a single place to go to cost-effectively meet the next generation.

“It’s an opportunity to meet over 4,000 young people in one place. Where else could your business do that?”

Julie Wilkinson, head of careers and employability at Parkstone Grammar School, said: “We are keen to ensure our students understand all the possible post-16 and 18 options. As a school we recognise that a choice can only be made when you know all the options.

“Apprenticeships are changing dramatically with more offering higher level qualifications, including full degrees, without the financial debt. To be able to attend a local event like the Careers and Apprenticeship show is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get as much information to help inform their decisions as possible. We feel it is so valuable that we are taking all year 11 and 12 students to the event and are very much looking forward to it”

Claire O’Neill of the University of Southampton, head of Southern Universities Network, said: “If young people are to make informed choices about their studies and future career options, it is so important that they get the opportunity to meet employers from across the region to gain an understanding of what pathways are available to them.

“Southern Universities Network is pleased to support the Careers and Apprenticeship Show which will enable the young people we work with take the first step along that journey.”

Mr Tansey praised the work of Catherine Beater, senior careers and enterprise coordinator with Bournemouth and Poole 11-19 Team, who has organised the event.

“Catherine Beater has done a brilliant job of making this landmark event happen. She deserves recognition for this – she’s a force of nature and her tireless nature and abundant energy is an inspiration,” he said.

“If people ever whinge about the public sector I would simply point out that this woman works night and day to make significant change happen and leads a team of people who share her attitude. We should all be very proud that we have public servants with such dedication and commitment.”

The Dorset Careers and Apprenticeship Show will be open to schools from 9.30am-4pm and to individual young people, parents and carers from 4.30-8pm.

Details are at