Hundreds of apprenticeships are up for grabs and Preston’s soon-to-be school leavers have been urged to get their bids in.
More than 2,000 teenagers and their parents turned up the first major careers expo of its kind in the city.
It was organised by Preston’s College and the University of Central Lancashire and other organisations to help the city’s teenagers decide on life after school.
The event attracted major national employers including Sainsbury’s, BT and the NHS, as well as many other large organisations including BAE Systems, Leyland Trucks and Lancashire County Council.
Schools across the city and surrounding areas took part in the event, with around 50 different employers exhibiting, at the Guild Hall.
The teens were told that the firms were hoping to fill hundreds of apprenticeship vacancies ranging from healthcare and business to engineering, and construction.
Each of the apprenticeships offer a chance to earn while you learn, gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and nationally-recognised qualifications.
The event was run in partnership with Preston’s College, UCLan, Lancashire Constabulary, Office of Police & Crime Commissioner and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Lead organiser Andrew Richardson said: “We couldn’t have had a better turnout.
“The benefits of an apprenticeship are well documented and it was great to see so many people, especially soon-to-be school leavers and their parents, showing an interest in apprenticeships.
“Academic or vocational study routes which lead on to University isn’t the right choice for everyone. The Expo highlighted the growing market for apprenticeship as well as the value in good training alongside employment.”