They came, they learned, they loved it.
The Get Inspired event, at Portsmouth Guildhall yesterday, invited young people to explore different career paths while having fun.
Hundreds of children from Portsmouth schools gathered to get inspired by their future employers by playing games and testing out equipment.
Children aged from 10 to 16 got involved in playing tennis, learning shorthand and plaiting hair.
Lindsey McHugh, digital marketing communications officer of Get Inspired, said: ‘The whole aim of the event is to get businesses to come along and inspire their future workforce. The businesses know they won’t be employing anyone tomorrow, but the children here could be their employees of the future.’
Get Inspired works with young people to equip them with the skills which will make them employable and also enable them to follow up opportunities, such as gaining work experience.
Among the many businesses were The Kings Theatre, Airbus, BAE Systems and the Royal Navy.
‘We need to show children what is out there and give them the opportunity to make really good decisions, get inspired and then go into those careers,’ Ms McHugh added.
Get Inspired differs from other career fairs as it requires every stall to provide an interactive element with the children.
Ms McHugh continued: ‘Young people don’t want to stand around stalls and read leaflets, they want to get involved so that’s what Get Inspired aims for.’
Jane Whitcombe, a primary school teacher at Court Lane School said: ‘Events like these give children a real insight into all the many careers that are out there. The stalls here are so interactive and it is different to classroom based work.’
Ten-year- olds Mollie Baddage, Teegan Lee, and Anna Shibe, as well as Maddie Edmonds, 11, all from St Columba Primary Academy, took a keen interest in The News and Highbury College stand, which was displaying work from their current journalism trainees.
Teegan said: ‘My favourite stand here is the journalism one because I enjoy writing and shorthand is interesting.
‘We have learnt about different jobs, which has been fun.’