College showcases talents at UK's largest skills and careers event

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Tutors and students from East Berkshire College have been paving the way for UK youngsters by showcasing the range of career opportunities available to them at The Skills Show -the UK's biggest free skills and careers event.

East Berkshire College gave young people from across the country the opportunity to 'Have a Go' at visual merchandising. Youngsters could try their hand at making props, mannequin dressing and dressing a display area.

Sue Leadbeater, course co-ordinator for retail display and visual merchandising at the College's Windsor Campus, said: "We've had lots of people coming over to take part and lots who didn't know much about visual merchandising so it's great that we have been able to talk to people about it. It's a real privilege to be here and the students have really enjoyed it."

The Skills Show is taking place at the NEC Birmingham from 15-17 November 2012 and provides young people with the perfect opportunity to meet employers and talk with real people about real jobs. Youngsters could also access up to the minute careers advice to help them discover their true potential from organisations such as City & Guilds, premier sponsor of The Skills Show.

Visitors are entertained by Showcase sessions which included demonstrations ranging from theatrical make-up, circus skills, hair sculpture to food presentation. Exhibitors include colleges, universities and learning providers from across the whole of the UK.

Visitors even got the chance to see some famous faces who were visiting the show, including skills patron Theo Paphitis; British field hockey Olympic Bronze medallist, Sally Walton; Nick Holzherr, star of BBC TV's The Apprentice, and founder of food website, Whisk; all of whom were giving real-life practical insights and advice into the world of work and skills.

Theo Paphitis, Skills Patron and star of the BBC's Dragon's Den, said: "As skills patron for The Skills Show, I'm passionate about improving skills levels across the UK and ensuring that young people know about the huge range of opportunities available to them. We need to help young people achieve their true potential by helping them discover the skills that enthuse and inspire them. The Skills Show provides a wonderful opportunity for young people – or those looking for a new direction - to get face to face careers advice, and also to literally 'have a go' and learn new skills."

East Berkshire College's Retail & Merchandising Display Department, which is based in Windsor, is a centre of excellence for display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry, having received several awards from the British Display Society. Former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

Last year, East Berkshire College student Kirsty Hoadley was crowned the world's top young visual merchandiser. Kirsty won the gold medal for visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011 - the world's largest international skills competition for young people. Beating contenders from across the globe, Kirsty was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony at The O2 Arena.

For more information, visit or call 0845 475 1500.

For further information on East Berkshire College's retail display courses, please click here or call 0845 373 2500.


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