First Skills Share Fair a hit and second takes place this week

20 Aug 2019

Cllr Susan Glossop and intern Lizzie speak to some of the organisations helping people at the first West Suffolk Skills Share Fair

The first West Suffolk Skills Share Fair has been praised by residents and participating organisations – and another takes place this week.

The Skills Share Fairs have been organised by West Suffolk Council’s interns and are designed to boost skills and reduce social isolation.

Around 70 residents attended the first event held in Mildenhall on Friday morning. West Suffolk College, the Rural Coffee Caravan, Realise Futures, Menta, Community Action Suffolk, the icanbea… jobs service, The Shed at West Row, Market Place, The Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, NHS Volunteers and the Suffolk Childcare Agency, were all on hand to speak to residents looking to learn new skills, return to work, start their own business or volunteer.

Cllr Susan Glossop, West Suffolk Council Cabinet Member for Growth attended the event. She said: “We had very good feedback from residents and the various organisations who attended our first Skills Share Fair. For anyone who missed it, we have another Skills Share Fair this Thursday in Haverhill and all are welcome.

“Our aim is to inspire people to improve existing skills and learn new ones. It then gives people the confidence to do things such as returning to work, starting their own business or undertaking voluntary work to help others in their community and in so doing contribute to the success of our local economy.

“These Fairs are also about encouraging people within our own rural communities to come forward and inspire others. That could be younger and older people teaching each other new skills, as well as acting as encouraging others including friends and family to further develop their skills.”

Cllr Robert Everitt, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities said: “West Suffolk is a rural area and people can feel socially isolated at any age – it’s not just about getting older. Sometimes people may feel isolated because they aren’t employed and are not confident in the skills that they have to offer. This can include parents and/or grandparents who have been looking after children and who may be looking to return to work. We can help point people in the right direction and we would encourage anyone to come to the Skills Share Fair.”

The West Suffolk Skills Development Program has been sponsored by Kalsec, Cocksedge Building Contractors, West Suffolk College, Sainsbury’s in Mildenhall and The Co-op in Mildenhall.

Any West Suffolk residents who missed Friday’s event are welcome to attend the second of the Skills Share Fairs which takes place at the Haverhill Arts Centre on this Thursday 22 August from 10am to 12noon. The drop-in event is free and is open to all ages.

Posted in categories: press release, news