Looking ahead to a bright future

Cllr John Holdich
Cllr John Holdich
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The hot weather heralded the end of hundreds of young people’s secondary education with exams finishing for the majority last week.

Many young people will already be clear about their plans for the future with further education and university applications already in the pipeline.

But for some the summer offers a blank page with adulthood on the horizon and decisions about what to do next.

If you are one of the young people still deciding whether to remain in education or to enter the world of work it’s important to remember that there is plenty of support out there.

Last Friday’s regional careers show at the East of England Arena and Events Centre attracted nearly 6,000 14 to 24 year olds by showcasing the wide range of opportunities on offer in our area.

An annual event, the show provides the chance to talk to employers from different sectors and to try out different skills with around 230 exhibitors including universities, colleges and businesses on hand.

Many brought exciting things for the students to try out including a Formula 1 simulator, diggers, theatre make-up and virtual reality equipment. There was also a whole area dedicated to the arts, culture and music.

Thirty nine schools and colleges came along - some from as far afield as Bury St Edmunds and west Norfolk. Depending on what young people want to do next, there were seminars on employability skills or getting ready for university,

Fear not if you missed the show though as it’s just one of the ways that young people in Peterborough can get help on what to do next.

In addition the show’s organiser Opportunity Peterborough’s The Skills Service has a wealth of information on its website - www.standoutskills.co.uk. This includes a live jobs board with vacancies, apprenticeship and volunteering opportunities alongside tips for CV writing and interviews.

Help and advice is also available from City College Peterborough. Young people can drop-in to access the information and support sessions that the college on Brook Street runs throughout the summer on weekdays.

Whether looking for a course to lead to employment, for career progression or simply to continue learning, the college is a great option for many young people. Its Choices Brochure talks through the benefits of further education and outlines the huge amount of courses available locally.

We’re also leading on the delivery of the National Citizens Service (NCS) programme in Peterborough.

This is the government’s flagship programme for 15 to 17 year olds which offers a jam packed four-week programme designed to prepare young people for adulthood.

NCS provides learning in leadership, team building, personal development and employability skills, as well as workshops around good citizenship.

With 245 young people already signed up from schools across the city, the programme is proving popular. There are still spaces available for start dates on 24 July and 31 July so if this appeals contact NCS@peterborough.gov.uk.

We were all touched deep to the core by the tragic events that unfolded in west London at Grenfell Tower the week before last. My heartfelt sympathies are with all the people and families affected.

I know that local housing providers such as Cross Keys Homes are working hard to ensure that they comply with all the safety legislation for their residents and are responding proactively to any reviews being led nationally. I am sure that any lessons learnt or actions required arising from any reviews or a public inquiry will be implemented by those responsible.

The city has been gearing up for a summer of events with a full programme launched in the last few weeks when we celebrated the city’s heritage festival, Armed Forces Day and the first ever Polish festival in Cathedral Square.

Another super event is the Children’s Film Awards which happened on Tuesday. Now in its 12th year, the awards showcase the talent of the youngest members of our community. And what talent that is!

Congratulations to all the children who participated and the prize-winning schools: The Fulbridge Academy, The Peterborough School, Nene Valley Primary School and Hampton Hargate Primary School. The standard was incredibly high and I enjoyed every minute of the films.