Devon Business Show - Round-Up

On Wednesday 13th June 2018 Skills Group attended the sixth Devon Business Show, hosted by Devon Chamber of Commerce at Plymouth Pavilions. With a collective attendee and exhibitor list exceeding 600 – we were ready and armed to do business.

Showcasing our brand new look, we were fortunate to secure the first visual stand at the main entrance (besides the event title sponsors stand) which packed a punch and gave us an opportunity to meet and greet each visitor as they arrived at the show.

We attended both of the speed networking sessions, designed rather like speed dating! We honed our ‘elevator pitch’, grabbed a stash of business cards and took to the stage. We met some amazing businesses that we are in discussions with to provide apprentices to, and others that require bespoke career development training for their existing staff.

At lunchtime we grabbed a seat at Devon Conversations where we learnt how the Heart of South West LEP has developed and grown to its current delivery and from Alison Hernandez at Devon & Cornwall Police on their budget and plans to improve security of individual towns and villages through out the SW peninsula.

We wearily packed down stand 112 armed with some fantastic new contacts, a vision for our community strategy and of course plans for next years show!

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School