Fair will celebrate the city’s firms

FOR THE KIDS Cath Longhurst, the chief executive of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Education  Business Partnership
FOR THE KIDS Cath Longhurst, the chief executive of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership
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IT WILL be a chance for businesses and organisations to show off their wares and inspire an entire generation of youngsters.

The first Portsmouth Opportunities Fair is set to take place on October 16.

Organised as part of the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth project, it is designed to inspire the city’s young people with the potential careers on offer – but it is definitely a showcase, rather than a careers fair.

It is hoped that more than 2,000 youngsters, aged between 10 and 13, will attend and more than 100 businesses will show off what they have to offer.

Cath Longhurst, chief executive of the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership, said: ‘We want to grab them when they’re a bit younger because often by the time they are 12 they’ve already decided which careers they definitely don’t want to do – things like engineering, when they might not realise the different types of engineering there are, like building satellites to software engineering.

‘It’s aimed at that age group but anyone can attend.

‘We also think it’s important to show the parents what there is available, because the main source of inspiration for children actually comes from their parents.’

More than 30 firms have already signed up, including The News, Portsmouth Football Club, Astrium, Wightlink and many more.

The event is due to take place at the Guildhall.

It will also include inspirational speakers, music and entertainment, local success stories, quizzes and more.

Jacquie Jones, project manager for the EBP who is organising the fair, said: ‘We want the firms who come along to be interactive, not just hand out leaflets.

‘This is not a careers fair. We want it to be a celebration event for all the businesses in Portsmouth.

‘We are also hoping to get inspirational people to speak who grew up here and who have made a success of themselves and who have stayed here, rather than moving out of the city.’