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Employment Fair Success

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Employment Fair Success
The South Central Employment Fair took place at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on the 13th February, and offered networking opportunities to over 450 Service leavers and over 40 organisations looking to employ ex-military personnel.

The event was opened by The Right Worshipful Mayor of Reading, Councillor Marion Livingston. In her opening address, the Mayor referred to her own varied career path, speaking of how she embraced change and the opportunities this offered. She also highlighted the great value in the many transferrable skills and qualities offered by Service leavers to the employment market.  

CTP employment fairs offer the opportunity for Service leavers to meet employers face-to-face and to find out what they are seeking in a potential employee; in turn, they provide the chance for ex-military personnel to show the organisations what they have to offer too.  

These networking opportunities can also help to demystify the civilian job market: from confirming what roles are on offer and what those job titles really mean (i.e. Asda refer to ‘Operations’, whereas you may be more familiar with the military term, ‘Warehousing’), to identifying the most appropriate vocational training needed to gain a place within a particular organisation. Along with attending employment fairs to help further plan your resettlement and confirm your future career choices, attendees also have the opportunity to meet and network with other Service leavers – some of which you may not have seen for a while!  

Each CTP employment fair also includes several presentations; during the South Central event, attendees heard from the Troops to Teachers team, Jaguar Land Rover and the Metropolitan Police, plus hints and tips on RightJob from the CTP team.  Employment Consultants and Career Consultants were also on hand throughout the day, to offer advice and support as needed. 

Local Employment Consultants and the CTP Key Account team work closely with employers to source appropriate vacancies and promote the many benefits of employing Service leavers. The South Central event was attended by 44 companies with live job vacancies across a range of industries, including Amazon, Thames Water, Hampshire Constabulary, Serco and Rentokil.  

The event was busy from the moment the doors opened at 10am and the room was filled with the buzz of employers and Service leavers networking. Attendees are encouraged to bring hard copies of their CVs to hand out on the day, and some employers went away with over 100 to consider. Following the event, many organisations have asked candidates to continue their applications: Thames Water have asked 4 Service leavers to attend interview and have placed a further 30 jobs on RightJob.  For other employers, the fair was their first opportunity to find out about the skills offered by Service leavers, and many were delighted with the high level of candidates in attendance. 

Whether you are just beginning the resettlement process or are ready to apply for jobs, there are many benefits to attending an employment fair; some Service leavers are ready to target specific companies and find out about current vacancies, others are on a fact-finding mission to help confirm their future career plans. 

The reactions of the organisations in attendance on the day were extremely positive; when asked about the calibre of Service leavers, comments ranged from “much better than expected” to “excellent and well informed.”  One company added “a lot of personnel had relevant skills that can be used in our business.”  Another said, “I have to tell you that the fair was one of the best I’ve been to in a very long time!  Fingers crossed we get some hires.”

Employment fairs are scheduled throughout 2014, and each event will include representatives from a wide range of industries including transport and logistics, telecommunications, engineering, IT and many more.  Visit the events calendar to find the next event and book your place today!

Remember! Before attending, it is worthwhile reminding yourself about the 30 second commercial/elevator speech you prepared during your CTW. This will ensure you are able to confidently introduce yourself to employers on the day. Remember to also bring copies of your CV printed on high-quality A4 paper.