Optimisitc teenagers attended jobs seminar

Optimistic teenagers attended a careers event in Omagh last Wednesday (28) where they heard at first hand from local employers about the opportunities for jobs that await them when they leave school.The event took place at St Joseph’s Hall in Omagh.

The Ulster Herald’s parent company (North West News Group) was among the firms that spoke to 135 students and answered their queries regarding college pathways and qualifications needed for various careers. They also gave an insight into the world of work that hopefully awaits them.

The members of the Western Business Leadership Network and other local employers who supported the event included: All State NI, CAFRE (College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development) Emergency Services (PSNI, Fire Service and Ambulance), First Trust Bank, JMG Systems, Logan & Corry Solicitors, Marks & Spencer, Omagh District Council, Omagh Enterprise Company and accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Each company and agency hosted half a dozen students at a time for a quick information and question and answer session before, on the blast of a whistle, the group of young people moved around the hall to the next table.

The Omagh-based students were from the Christian Brothers Grammar School, Drumragh Integrated, Loreto Convent Grammar, the Academy, the High School, and Sacred Heart College with the Dean Maguirc College in Carrickmore also taking part.

The students, members of the business community and teachers were all hugely enthusiastic about the event which was the first of its type to be held in Omagh.

Paula Burns, a careers teacher in Omagh High School, is aware of the challenges that awaits the local teenagers. She said, “I think it is a great event and an excellent opportunity for the students to look around and ask questions of local employers.

“They were particularly interested in finding out about the entry requirements and qualities the employers are looking for.

“It was very helpful that it was organised into small groups so it was not too intimidating for the students to ask questions. It is great to get contact with the local employers and also brilliant that it was held in Omagh as a lot of events are so far away.” Despite the climate of doom and gloom regarding jobs, the careers teacher is optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for the young people. She added, “We are very grateful to the employers for taking part and for the organisers. It is really important that we have the support of the local employers because without their input these sort of things wouldn’t work. It is a shame that there is a shortage of jobs in some areas. It is important that they get the best qualifications that they can and gain many skills and attributes. If they work hard I am optimistic for them.”

Claire Eannetta from Business in the Community was also delighted with the initiative. “The feedback has been very positive from the students, teachers and employees who have attended. “Hopefully we will do it again in the future. This is the first time it has taken place in Omagh that the Business Community and the Western Business Leadership team have organised.

There are definitely opportunities here although it is a very difficult climate at present. Employers realise they need to be talking to young people and helping them prepare for jobs in the future.

Source: ulsterherald.com