A SHOWCASE careers exhibition featuring Bantry businesses was held recently at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí.
The Parents’ Association organised ‘Futures Expo’ by enlisting the support of a wide range of local businesses and, on the day, 27 local businesses were represented at different stands.
Rita Kearney, chairperson of the proactive Parents’ Association, said: ‘It is the first time we have organised something like this and we were pleased that it had a particular emphasis on local apprenticeship opportunities.’
Ms Kearney described the Expo as a success and she said the enthusiasm and interest of the students from the senior cycle in finding out what was happening in their own locality was a reward in itself.
The Futures Expo sought to show them progression and employment opportunities that might not have even considered. And, for a lot of the students, it was the first time they got to talk directly to people involved in different economic sectors.
Rita said there were representatives of post-Leaving Cert and Third Level institutions also in attendance at the Futures Expo and this gave students a chance to ‘try on for size’ career opportunities that they might not otherwise have considered.
County mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) officially opened the exhibition. He underlined the importance of shopping locally and supporting local jobs.
During the opening, Gerry Devine, operations manager for SuperValu, inspired the students by telling his own story. Mr Devine said he had left secondary school with a poor Leaving Cert but found his niche working for SuperValu.
Once a student decides what it is he or she wants to do, he said, they could achieve anything through their own motivation and dedication.
Rita added that the first ever Futures Expo was ‘an excellent collaboration’ and added: ‘We look forward to it becoming an annual event.’