The event was open to all residents of the Borough and to people from nearby areas, no advance booking was necessary, we were delighted that Wokingham Today covered the fact that the event was happening, and it was publicised last week by BBC Radio Berkshire. I would like to thank both media streams for helping to promote the day and make it a success.
The event was focusing on people looking for immediate employment rather than people who were looking for career options, which seemed to fit well with the needs of those looking to hire new employees and those seeking work.
Our partners at the Jobs Fair were able to provide visitors with tailored advice and guidance for people who were either looking for new jobs, returning to work or looking to upskill. A representative of a local waste management business said ‘We have a wide range of high-quality vacancies to fill, and this event is a great opportunity to meet potential employees".
The Jobs Fair was so well supported by local employers that it was over-subscribed, with several employers having to go on a ‘waiting’ list to be able to attend.
We were very pleased that employers such as Nirvana Spa, the Ministry of Justice probation service, Thames Valley Buses and Reading Buses,. Several Care companies attended, from a sector where employers face many challenges to maintain and recruit staff. Vivid homes, Waites and Vistry Partners were representing the construction sector,. Its estimated that we'll need an extra 4,300 construction workers in Berkshire by 2035, not only to cope with the government's housing numbers that are being forced on the council but to also cover exciting opportunities including smart home technology and retrofitting. And of course Wokingham Borough Council itself was there. The list of employers also included the Royal Berkshire Hospital, who incidentally are one of the largest employers in the area, employing 6,000 people locally in many varieties of roles, not just Doctors, Nurses, and Healthcare professional such as Physiotherapists.
We were delighted that over 300 people came to the jobs fair and both residents who are now hopefully new employees of these businesses and the employers were very satisfied that the day had gone well.
Our many job support partners were also there, the Department for Work & Pensions, the National Careers service, the Wokingham Job Support Centre, Smartworks, Resource productions and Optalis, the company that is owned by Wokingham Borough Council which employs 800 people and provides a full range of care and support services to older people and adults with disabilities.
This is an event that Wokingham Borough Council will certainly put on again. If we can help our residents who are currently without a job, we just might be able to put them in touch with a new employer. This is also a great service for some of our local employers who sometimes find it difficult to find new staff. I would say this event was potentially a WIN, WIN situation for both new employees and employers.
Cllr Clive Jones
Executive member for Business and Economic Development.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Wokingham.