More than 450 pupils from schools across Wirral gained valuable insights into employment and further education at the What Next? Skills Show earlier on Tuesday 8th November 2022.


Over 50 employers, education and training providers gathered at the Hive Wirral Youth Zone, Birkenhead, for the all-day event, which was run by Career Connect on behalf of Wirral Council.

The charity brought together employers from sectors including energy, housing, engineering, hospitality, the NHS, armed forces and more, with major local employers in attendance including Unilever and Sellafield.

Training and education providers included Wirral Met College, local universities and specialist providers of training in sports, media production and performing and creative arts.

Lord Mayor of Wirral Councillor Jeff Green visited the show, meeting exhibitors, schools, and Council and Career Connect staff – and even put his music skills to the test by trying his hand at DJing during one of the music workshops on offer.

The second half of the day was dedicated to 16–19-year-olds, and those up to the age of 25 who are care leavers or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Gareth Jones, Learning, Skills and Employment Manager at Wirral Council said: “We have a long-standing partnership with Career Connect to ensure young people in Wirral are engaged with employment, education and training opportunities, and that they can see full career pathways. Events like the What Next? Skills Show are really important, because they make the world of work real. They give young people the chance to make face-to-face connections with employers and training providers, providing then with important insights, and an opportunity to ask questions. 

“I was really impressed with the variety of employers who were eager to speak to young people from Wirral about their futures. There was a lot of energy in the room on the day, and I saw lots of students excited to speak to the exhibitors and learn more.”

Sheila Clark, Deputy CEO of Career Connect, said: “Our mission is to help raise aspirations and enable young people to create a better future for themselves. The aim of the What Next? Skills show was to present a range of career and education options, that can help empower young people to make the right decisions for them.

“We hope that the What Next? Skills Show helped open up new career avenues for young people to explore, and develop their understanding of the different routes they could take to get there. All of the exhibitors were very generous with their time, and we thank them for their support.”

If you’re a head teacher or careers leader and would like to discuss how Career Connect can help your school deliver a world-class careers education programme, please contact Amy Blakemore from our Education and Business Team via [email protected] or visit www.connectedu.org.uk.

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