Portsmouth Opportunities Fair to return

The Annual Opportunities Fair last year
The Annual Opportunities Fair last year
HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK's newest aircraft carrier, as the ship arrives in Portsmouth Picture: POPHOT Ian Simpson/Royal Navy/PA Wire

‘A symbol of maritime might in the navy for the next 50 years’

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IT’S that time of year again when businesses are busy signing up for the annual Portsmouth Opportunities Fair.

It is a chance for firms based in Portsmouth to tell young people what the city has to offer in terms of the different jobs and careers available here.

This year’s event is on Saturday, October 19 at the Guildhall in Portsmouth.

Among those attending for the first time are sports retailer Wiggle, space engineering company Astrium, medical company Pfizer and Innovation Warehouse.

Suzanne Lewis, project team manager at the Portsmouth and South East Hants Education Business Partnership, which is organising the fair on behalf of Shaping the Future of Portsmouth, said around 25 businesses had already signed up.

She said: ‘On the day we’re hoping for around 80 exhibitors and we’re on track for that. We need to hear from all those who want to take part and show what opportunities there are for young people thinking about their future careers in Portsmouth.

‘As well as the new exhibitors like Wiggle and Astrium, we are really pleased to see some of the businesses return for a third year, showing how the opportunities’ fair has become firmly established.’

Some of the highlights of previous year’s fairs included a brain-powered car offered by IBM, and the chance to try and land on an aircraft 
carrier, thanks to BAE Systems’ simulator.

Portsmouth International Port was also offering to give visitors the chance to steer a ship into the harbour, and the John Pounds Centre had people making smoothies on an exercise bike.

This year’s attractions, said Suzanne, include First Bus driving one of their vehicles into Guildhall Square for youngsters to look round.

She added: ‘We are on target, but if companies want to take part they will have to get their forms back soon to ensure they have a good spot within the Guildhall, particularly if they want to be in the main room and have electricity hook-ups.’

To find out more about the fair, see oppsfair.com.