The two-day Skills Cymru exhibition was an opportunity for young people to find out more about a range of careers within industries such as finance, the military, and social care.
Also in attendance were a number of construction and engineering organisations - including CITB, Morgan Sindall and RICS. For our part, ECA hosted a stand alongside partner organisations JTL, JIB and BESA, to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in our sector.
Our ‘Get Skilled’ stand had a number of interactive opportunities for the attendees to try out, including data cabling, piping, and how a BMS system works. We were grateful to our manufacturer partners who provided support by bringing along their new technology.
ECA's stand was supported by staff, including highly motivated apprentices, from ECA members DRS Facilities Management, Highadmit Projects, CMB Electrical, Trivallis, and Richard Kavanagh Electrical Services who talked to prospective industry trainees about the range of career opportunities that are available in our industry.
Having personally spoken to the young attendees, it is clear that many are open to a career in our sector - but there is much work to do. We are competing with a range of other sectors - including those mentioned above, and others such as the food and drink industry, the NHS and the fire and rescue service.
As a result, we need to show that the engineering industry is progressive and innovative, and that a career brings financial and social rewards. More of course also needs to be done to increase diversity in our sector, but I was pleased at the mix of interested young people visiting our stand.
Skills Cymru is Wales’ largest careers, jobs and apprenticeships event. In addition to Cardiff, a second event is held in Llandudno, north Wales, with some 10,000 young people expected over the course of both exhibitions.
As the Welsh Skills Minister explains: ‘Skills Cymru is an important event in the calendar for young people looking to research their next steps. I hope they will have discovered opportunities they had never considered before’.
2018 is the third consecutive year ECA has been involved with Skills Cymru - and we will certainly be back next year to support such an important event for Wales’ young people.