30 April 2018

Attracting, retaining and developing the South’s skills with the Opportunity Meets Talent Convention

Top employers from across the region came together to showcase more than 1000 jobs and apprenticeships collectively to students last week, at the Opportunity Meets Talent Convention

The second Opportunity Meets Talent event took place on Thursday 26 April at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, following its successful launch last year.  The event brings the region’s top businesses, educators and students together with the aim of matching talented students to real career opportunities.

Organised by Business South, and sponsored by Southampton Solent University, Old Mutual Wealth and Willmott Dixon, Opportunity Meets Talent 2018 attracted over 300 students from across the region.

Over 1000 jobs and apprenticeships were live on the day, raising awareness about industry careers opportunities from the 40 exhibiting employers including: Cobham Plc, Carnival UK, Old Mutual Wealth, Ordnance Survey and South Western Railway. 

 Colleges and universities were also on hand to offer their expertise about apprenticeships and further and higher education.

Trevor White, Operations Director at Kier Construction, said: “As an industry, we are facing a skills crisis that threatens £90bn of UK GDP if we don’t act. Events like Opportunity Meets Talent offers us an excellent platform to showcase all that we are doing to tackle the issue, highlight the work we do across the country and discuss the breadth of roles available at Kier, all of which will play a pivotal role in shaping the skylines of tomorrow.”

The event also staged a programme of workshops and Insight Into sessions, providing students with in depth information into career opportunities in niche sectors relevant to the region including: Leisure & Hospitality, Maritime & Shipping, Media & Creative, Aviation and Public Services.

This was further complemented by motivational speakers providing top tips throughout the day. “Opportunity Meets Talent is more than just a careers fair” explains Ursula Tavender founder of Mumbelievable who’s business supports companies to engage and retain talented employees by helping them regain confidence and manage the emotional and logistical demands of being a working parent. Ursula provided attendees with her tips on resilience and overcoming setbacks at the event. “Career planning isn’t just about finding job opportunities, it’s the whole package, from having the right skills, giving a great first impression, to being in the right mindset to feel empowered enough to achieve what you want for yourself.”

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