A jobs fair was hailed a “fantastic” success by an MP.
There were 500 jobs up for grabs at the South Denbighshire Jobs Fair at Denbigh Town Hall.
It was attended by more than 100 teenagers who were able to find information on future careers.
Major employers there included the main sponsor, the Pendine Park care organisation, Ifor Williams Trailers and civil engineering company Jones Bros.
The event at Denbigh Town Hall featured career advice from seasoned professionals for young people between 14 and 18 and job advertisements in the afternoon for people aged 16 and above.
It was masterminded by Mark Young, who runs Denbigh Chocolate Shop and has just been crowned High Street Hero in the food and drink category of a Welsh Government competition. The fair gave around 30 exhibitors, from manufacturing firms to further education colleges, the chance to showcase their job-creating potential to over 100 year 10 and sixth form pupils from two local schools – Denbigh High and St Brigid’s.
Mark Young said: “Denbighshire is full of talented, aspirational people, many of whom are trying to get on the job ladder for the first time.
“This was a way for businesses to support young people so they know what jobs are out there, and also gain access to a big pool of talent.
“Young people who came along were able to find out what it’s like to work in different occupations and discover what they need to achieve their ambitions.
“This year we again had over 500 jobs on offer locally and around 1,000 nationally because of organisations, like the army, which recruit across the country.
“Pendine Park, who I’m delighted to say was our main sponsor for the fair and also had a stand there, was telling the young people who came along about the 50 jobs it currently has available at its fantastic new Bryn Seiont Newydd dementia care centre in Caernarfon and the Jones Bros construction company, which was also at the fair, was recruiting for a wide variety of positions.”
Mark added: “Since last year’s fair I’ve had young people come up to me and tell me that they met their potential employer at the event and that they’re now doing well in their new jobs.
“This year’s fair has been a great success. Once again there has been some great interaction and we’ve had real people talking about real jobs.”
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft also gave a massive thumbs up to the fair which his organisation sponsored.
He said: “I think it’s very important to promote the employment opportunities that exist in this area for young people.
“Naturally, social care is a vital sector of the local economy and on our stand at the fair we wanted to encourage people to look at what job availability we have, such as the 50 at our new Bryn Seiont Newydd dementia care centre and also those in Wrexham in domiciliary care and care homes, all with full training provided.”
Vale of Clwyd MP James Davies was an early visitor to the fair and also praised its value to the people of his constituency.
Dr Davies said: “I was delighted to see so many businesses and organisations coming together to help young people in the area.
“The event has helped to widen the horizons of those who came along in terms of jobs and further training opportunities.
“I’d like to thank Mark Young for putting in the time and trouble to organise such a great event and Mario Kreft at Pendine Park for his sponsorship.”
There was also praise for the fair from the Mayor of Denbigh, Councillor Raymond Bartley, who said: “Creating more jobs in this area is an absolute priority for everyone and this event has been doing just that.
“Denbighshire is full of talented people, young and old, but getting on to the jobs ladder is not always easy.”
Denbigh High School assistant headteacher Miranda Cookson said: “It is vitally important, especially in the current economic climate, for our young people to be able to see the various job opportunities available in the near future.
“Some of our young people will be considering apprenticeships and this event gives them the chance to explore the possibilities available to them.”
Among those checking out the various stands were a group of world champions from Denbigh High who were guests of honour at the fair.
Amy Martin, Katie Rowlands, Jessica Briody-Hughes and Holly Roberts, all aged 14, took part in this year’s F1 in Schools competition in which they had to design, build and race their own miniature Formula 1 car.
The fantastic foursome fought their way through all the UK heats to take part in the grand final held in Singapore in September, raising their own £25,000 in travel costs along the way.
In the face of stiff competition from 42 countries across the globe they topped one of the categories to become world champions in sponsorship and marketing.
Amy said: “It’s been good to come along to the jobs and careers fair to see what opportunities are on offer and I’ve been getting all sorts of information which might help me get into the career I may be looking for in human resources and marketing.”
Gathering up plenty of information leaflets and mulling over job possibilities on the stand manned by Jones Bros of Ruthin was 14-year-old Theo Halton from Denbigh High.
He said: “It was useful to have the chance to come here today and find out what sort of jobs are available.”
Also keeping busy on the Ifor Williams Trailers stand was one of its human resources officers, Rhian Jones, who said: “We’ve had lots of interest throughout the morning and I’ve been giving details of about 20 jobs we have available at the moment, from administration to production operatives, at our two sites in Corwen and Cynwyd.
“It was good to be able to speak to the young people and tell them about the company.”
It was a similar story with Wendy Meadows, chief operating officer of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), who was also manning a stand.
“We have clubs in Rhyl, Ruthin and Holywell and our aim at the fair is recruit young members who can train as divers and eventually become dive instructors.
“It’s an ideal thing to do in their gap year and we’ve had plenty of young people visiting our stand.”
One of those showing an interest in BSAC was 14-year-old Callum Taylor from Denbigh High who said: “Joining the club sounds quite interesting and it’s something I might try as I like swimming at school.”
Meriel Evans, who was looking after the Jones Bros stand, said: “We have some good opportunities available at the moment, including apprenticeships and qualified positions for people like site managers and engineers, so it was good to have the opportunity to tell people about these and what we do at our company.”