Opportunities fair countdown begins

SPEAKING OUT Lisa Bowles
SPEAKING OUT Lisa Bowles

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THE first Portsmouth Opportunities Fair is being held in the city next month to show children what exciting careers are open to them in the future.

The event on October 16 will take place at Portsmouth Guildhall – which has been donated free of charge – and is aimed at youngsters aged between 10 and 13 years old.

As well as dozens of firms showing off what they have to offer, business leaders who grew up in the city will explain how they got to where they are today.

One of those taking part in the day will be Lisa Bowles, who is human resources manager for the Portsmouth Marriott.

She was born in Gosport and now lives in Portchester, and over her 16-year career with the hotel chain she has worked her way up from being a room attendant to where she is now.

She said: ‘I’ve literally worked my way up.

‘We’ll be at the fair because the kids coming along are going to be the children we need to tell about hospitality now, so that when they move up through the schools they know to come for work experience and that we’re a future employer.

‘We’ll be telling them that to work in the hospitality industry they don’t necessarily need qualifications, and that if they don’t do well in their exams they’re not on the scrap heap – there are doors open for them.’

Around 60 firms will be showing off what they do at the fair, and there is space for other businesses to get involved.

It has been organised by the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth group and the Portsmouth Education and Business Partnership.

Contact Jacquie Jones at the EBP on (023) 9228 3400.