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Doncaster’s Young People Connect Up With Employers and Are Show the Breadth of Opportunities Available to Them at Major Careers Fair

Thousands upon thousands of Doncaster’s young people attended a major careers fair last week — one of the largest in all of South Yorkshire — where they had a chance to connect up with businesses and discover the sheer breadth of job prospects are available right on their doorstep.

Organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, Opportunities Doncaster Live is an annual event that aims to showcase the diverse range of vocations and hidden career pathways you can pursue in our city, with representation from across all different industries and sectors. It is structured much like an exposition, with the region’s SMEs, anchor employers and further education providers gathering together under one roof at Doncaster Racecourse, where they are then able to set up interactive booths that will hopefully capture the attention of passers-by.

For the students themselves (of whom there were over 3,500 from 34 different schools in attendance this year), it is a chance to get better acquainted with the organisation in question, to find out what professional opportunities they have to offer, to speak with accomplished entrepreneurs or business leaders, and to potentially even kick-start their dream careers. Meanwhile, for those who are actually exhibiting, it is a chance to raise awareness about their own vacancies and to engage with the next generation of talent, as they look to take their first steps into the world of work.

Speaking of which, while previous iterations of the event primarily targeted an audience of young people, Opportunities Doncaster Live 2024 had a designated timeslot for their respective parents and caregivers as well. Over 100 people attended this section of the event, where they too were able to meet up with employers (and have conversations that otherwise would not have taken place) and were shown the breadth of upskilling & training opportunities that are within their grasp in the local area.

Not to mention, there was also another timeslot reserved specifically for school students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and their teachers. This portion of the day was attended by 700 SEN young people, allowing the careers fair and its exhibitors to reach a wider audience than ever before.

Opportunities Doncaster Live 2024 was headline sponsored by Polypipe Building Products and DN Colleges Group, while Boxes & Packaging and Vac-Ex also contributed as supporting sponsors.

Reflecting on the success of the event, Jade Dyer, Business Director at Doncaster Chamber, said: “This careers fair is always one of the biggest highlights of the year for us, as it demonstrates just how exciting a place Doncaster is when it comes to employment and business.

“Over 80 businesses exhibited with us on the day, to meaningfully engage with students and introduce them to the world of the work in a way that was dynamic and exciting, and that hopefully made them feel a little less daunted by it. Indeed, with so many of these amazing organisations vying for the attention of our attendees, I am sure that they came away from the experience with a greater sense of optimism for the future and maybe some new aspirations too. This is a positive not only for the young people themselves, but also for businesses and the region as whole, as it will help us to retain the best possible talent right here in South Yorkshire.

“We also had a lot of encouraging feedback about our timeslot for SEN students. We received heartfelt thanks from the schools in question and the teachers voiced appreciation for how their students were given a rare opportunity to meet with employers in a setting that was tailored just for them.

“With all of that said, I’d like to take a moment to thank our incredible Headline Sponsors, Polypipe Building Products and DN Colleges Group, as well as our partnering sponsors Boxes and Packaging and Vac-Ex. We know that Doncaster’s young people, their parents, caregivers and school teachers, as well as the wider business community, really valued this event and it was only possible thanks to these generous sponsors.”

Expanding upon this, Danny Fenwick, Deputy Principal of DN Colleges Group, added: “We were delighted to once again be part of Opportunities Live this year. Our ongoing commitment to bridging the gap between young people and employers drives us forward and this event offers an excellent opportunity for the young individuals of Doncaster to take their next steps and begin shaping their future career paths.”

Echoing these sentiments, Jazz Jones, Head of Learning and Development at Polypipe Building Products, said: “Opportunities Doncaster Live once again was an incredible event; every year Doncaster Chamber make it bigger and better and we have been thrilled to be a part of it. The calibre of students in attendance made the event the success it has been; armed with questions, insights and creating the excitable energy that filled the room. Congrats to Doncaster Chamber on another fantastic event and we look forward to Opportunities Doncaster Live 2025.”

Opportunities Doncaster Live will be returning in 2025, when it will be taking place on Thursday the 6th March, and will once again be headline sponsored by Polypipe Building Products. Any businesses who want to be involved as exhibitors should email



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