News. People & Skills Projects - 20 August 2020

Covid-proof virtual careers fair launched for school leavers

With hundreds of school leavers in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire facing uncertainty in their future, D2N2’s North Derbyshire Careers Hub has partnered with Chesterfield Borough Council and Destination Chesterfield to launched an innovative online career and employability platform.

The My Future platform is designed to plug the careers information gap left by the Covid-19 pandemic which forced schools and colleges to close mid-way through the school year.

The innovative platform will be launched on GCSE results day (Thursday 20 August) and is completely free for young people to use.

Giving young people across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire access to the widest range of high-quality careers advice, employment support, skills and educational programmes, My Future will showcase up to 100 businesses, education and training providers across 10 zones in a virtual careers fair.

Ahead of the launch on 20 August careers leaders in the D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, which works with 21 schools and colleges within Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, have reached out to all Year 11 and Year 13 school leavers to encourage them to access the My Future platform.

To encourage young people to visit the platform, the North Derbyshire Careers Hub is also giving away an iPad to one of the first visitors to the site who finds the golden spire which will be hidden within one of the virtual stands.

My Future

My Future, which has been developed in partnership with Chesterfield-based Oasis Studios using its innovative 360expo software, has been created in just a few weeks in order to provide support for young people because of the uncertainty created by the Coronavirus crisis.

The virtual careers fair, which is believed to be a first across the country, aims to provide the support young people across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire need to help them make the important decisions about their future.

There are around 100 virtual exhibition pods active on the platform across 10 zones, including careers and transition, regeneration, enterprise and employment support, digital and technology, engineering and manufacturing, financial and professional services, health, community and public service, property and construction, logistics and distribution and tourism, hospitality and retail.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “The development of My Future has led to a truly innovative digital platform providing access to a wide range of careers advice, employment support, apprenticeships, skills and training programmes, all under one virtual roof.”

“I hope that My Future will help young people to build the career and future that they want so that we can continue to build a thriving borough together.”

James Brand, D2N2 board member and Managing Director of United Cast Bar, a Chesterfield-based business which is featured in the engineering and manufacturing zone on the platform, said: “My Future is a fantastic platform which we were delighted to get involved with. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to reach out to young people during these challenging times.”

“The platform will offer real support and guidance to school leavers who have been unable to access the careers information they would normally have had to help them make informed decisions about their future.”

Dom Stevens Destination Chesterfield Manager explained: “Everyone has worked tremendously hard to get the platform up and running. We have been overwhelmed by the support and involvement of businesses and training providers to make My Future happen and support local school leavers during this challenging time.”

D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub Lead Dan Heffernan said: “In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to ensure our young people are given high-quality and relevant transitions support.  My Future will ensure that we continue to inspire our future workforce, give them advice on their future career prospects, and showcase the types of next steps that are available.

“On behalf of D2N2, I want to thank all of the organisations that have contributed to this project so far, all of whom are helping to transform the skills and employability agenda across North Derbyshire.”

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