Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield and Eastwood, recently held an Apprentice Fair for secondary school students in the area. The MP meets with businesses in the constituency frequently who all offer top quality apprenticeships. Many have struggled to recruit in recent times with many vacancies remaining unfilled. This is a surprise as the companies offer a good training salary and generous terms and conditions. Many apprentices are offered a permanent decision once qualified. The MP helped AF Switchgear with their apprentice recruitment last year through his Facebook page and local media. People from all over the area got in touch, desperate to be considered for the roles on offer. This got the MP thinking, people clearly want to become apprentices – companies are desperate to recruit but there seems to be an issue with people knowing where and how to apply. The idea of an Apprentice Fair was thus formed. The Apprentice Fair took place on Friday, 8 July at Sutton Community Academy , businesses from Ashfield and neighbouring areas were in attendance. The businesses ranged from large to small offering positions in engineering, sales, IT, welding to name but a few. With most recruiting each year, there were certainly opportunities to be had. Schools sent along groups from Years 10 and 11 so those who have just finished their GCSEs and those sitting them next year. As well as businesses attending, Mr Anderson was eager to have stands there offering advice to the students. These ranged from help with application forms, CVs and interview skills. The students got to hear from 3 current apprentices who talked about their journeys and the opportunities they now had. The MPs current apprentice highlighted the fact that he had learnt on the job and was debt free, unlike some of his friends who had chosen the university route. Although he was keen to stress that university is a great option, it isn’t for everyone and a good quality apprenticeship can set young people up for life. After the MP had spoken to the students they were free to visit the stalls. Many registered their interests with businesses and hoped to be applying for positions soon. Lee Anderson said: “It was great to see the students engaging with the businesses. There’s so much on offer for people who go down the apprentice route. Some of the companies in attendance have Directors who started with the company as apprentices. I think it’s given the students something to consider going forward and speaking to current and previous apprentices helped them understand what is on offer. Thank you to all the businesses and schools that took part and a big thank you to Sutton Community Academy for offering us the use of their venue”. Josh Lawson from Subtronix LTD said: “It was great fun attending the Fair and the students were really engaging. I will definitely do one of these events again”. Lee Anderson is pictured with representatives from Vision West Notts College.