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Gloucestershire Business News

VIDEO: Just the job - residents flock to Futures Fair

Employers and jobseekers are coming together today at the Futures Fair at Gloucester Guildhall.

Dozens of local employers signed up to the event, which was pioneered by Gloucester MP Richard Graham.

The aim of the event was for residents to find job and volunteering opportunities and get advice on childcare, debt, and energy costs.

Organisations taking part included the NHS, Gloucester Rugby, Incito McDonald's, Gloucester Food Dock, Renishaw, Hartpury and Gloucestershire Colleges and BAE Systems, with some offering on-the-day interviews or sign ups.

Richard Graham said: "We try to have a different theme each time we do one of these and the theme today is about all those people who could work but for whatever reasons have got barriers for not doing so.

"We know at the end of the pandemic there were a lot of people who were at home not feeling very self-confident and not in jobs and what we are trying to do is give them all the help possible to try and find what is right for them.

"If we can raise the employment factor in Gloucester from around 81% to about 85% that will mean another 700 people in work contributing to the economy.

"There are a lot of jobs out there. We are seeing a lot of demand in hospitality, retail and the service sectors where you can often get part-time jobs, but also the high-skilled sectors like engineering and computer skills."

Mr Graham, who had just returned from a trip to the Philippines and Malaysia in his work as a government trade envoy, added: "That was all about waving the flag for Britain plc, this is all about waving the flag for Gloucester and jobs for my constituents." 

Vikki Walters, strategic lead for inclusive employment, based at the Employment and Skills Hub Gloucestershire, said: "Today is all about helping people to find jobs. We have over 30 employers here and over 30 support agencies. 

"But it's not just about getting jobs, it's providing support. We've got colleges and lots of different things to help people find work, to stay in work and basic support in everyday life.

Vikki encouraged people to get in touch with the employment hub if they were looking for work. "We've got a whole range of initiatives and programmes to help find work or skills in Gloucestershire," she added.

Alpesh Nandha, district operations manager for the DWP, said: "DWP have a range of products that we are able to support employers with. We have work experience and we are able to give that support to the employer if they are to come to us saying this is the particular skill set we are struggling to fill this vacancy, we can upskill the customer base we have to match them to the vacancy they have out there.

"Over the years DWP hasn't had a great reputation. However, we have gained back a lot of employers with the NHS being an example."

The jobs fair also included a 'Breaking Down Barriers' roundtable discussion hosted by Mr Graham. says: "There was a really great vibe about the place. Congratulations to everybody involved in organising the event. People are very quick to damn our elected leaders but a lot of hard work goes into putting on events like these behind the scenes and we should recognise that."

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