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NEC Birmingham named as host venue for The Skills Show 2015 and 2016

Find a Future has today announced the dates for The Skills Show 2015 (19 to 21 November) and 2016 (17 to 19 November). It has also confirmed that the NEC Birmingham will continue to host The Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, until 2016. 

The Skills Show - which runs from 13 to 15 November this year - has been held at the NEC since its launch in 2012. Attracting over 80,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find more about the world of work.

Ross Maloney, Chief Executive, Find a Future said:  “We are delighted to announce that following a competitive tender process, the NEC has been appointed to host The Skills Show for a further two years. 

“Many young people are uncertain about how to take the next step into the world of work, and the excellent facilities and superb transport links at the NEC enable us to a host a show that offers visitors experiential careers advice and the opportunity to watch the UK’s most talented learners and apprentices take part in the finals of the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions. It is these experiences that inspire and help people from all over the UK progress in their chosen career.”

In the lead up to this year’s The Skills Show, The Skills Show on the Road, in partnership with National Express, will visit Birmingham’s Centenary Square on Saturday 8 November.  The specially kitted-out coach, which has been visiting cities throughout the UK, offers visitors a taster of what they can see at The Skills Show. The coach features interactive skills challenges encouraging young people to 'Have a Go' at a number of skills across a range of potential careers. Visitors can also talk to careers advisers from the National Careers Service, meet local employers in the City & Guilds Employer Speed Dating area to help them engage directly with organisations in the area, and be inspired by young people expressing themselves on the “My Self, My Future” stage.  

“After such a competitive tender process and the hugely valued collaborative support from our local authorities, LEP and FE colleges, we’re very proud to be confirmed as host venue for The Skills Show for the next two years,” said Kathryn James, the NEC’s Managing Director.

“The skills agenda - in particular vocational skills and apprenticeship learning - is hugely important to us, and since its inauguration at the NEC in 2012, The Skills Show has established itself as the nation’s largest skills and careers show, engaging over 80,000 young people annually.

“With such a fantastic team and supporting structure, the NEC - the nation’s exhibition centre - is the perfect fit for a high profile show of this scale, which, through its combination of inspirational hands-on experiences, guidance and advice, inspires young people to explore further education, skills and apprenticeships.

“In addition, as we aim to build on the show’s success, our unrivalled connectivity means we can continue to deliver a great audience for The Skills Show and collectively set our sights on the 100,000 visitor target for the future.”

Today’s announcement follows last month’s commitment by the Government that it would continue funding WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions and The Skills Show which will continue to be delivered by Find a Future through to 2017.

Andy Street, Chair, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) said: "I'm delighted that this prestigious national event is remaining at the NEC. It brings £9 million into the local economy and is also a vital asset in support of our work in the Local Enterprise Partnership helping us tackle the current skills mismatch in our local economy by providing young people, in particular, with a unique insight into the real jobs and skills available now and in the future. If you're a parent with teenage children, take them to the Skills Show on Saturday, 15th November - it's the best careers advice you and they will ever get!"

In addition to The Skills Show, Find a Future also hosts the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions which attracted over 4,000 registrations in 2014 from people throughout the UK. A further 200,000 people have also attended local Skills Show Experiences which are managed by Find a Future.

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