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Issue Date:-13 January 2009

Improve your performance

AT Skills North West, the region’s biggest careers event, happening over 3  February 2009 to 5 February 2009, at the Bolton Arena, young people from across the North West will have an opportunity to find out more about careers and skills. But this is a careers event with a difference; you can have fun as you find out about all the options available.

Supported by the Learning & Skills Council and Northwest Regional Development Agency over 60 exhibitors will be there delivering lots of interactive features, from manufacturing a key ring to completing a human jigsaw, bringing the world of work to life. Making decisions is never easy but it is easier to find your direction when you can try out new skills. Companies and educational organisations will be at Skills North West hoping to attract their future workforce and student talent by sharing with visitors the tricks of the trade and the best route to success.

As well as lots of exciting have a go activities visitors can enjoy watching stage performances from Making it happen with Make Your Mark and their idea generation event, in the style of Dragon’s Den where young people who have inspirational ideas for a product or service can pitch to a panel of successful entrepreneurs, gain feedback and win prizes. Or visitors can travel back to 1890’s London and Paris to experience Sweeney Todd and the Moulin Rouge in two delightful alternating performances. Experience the extravagance and mystery, the dancing, colourful outfits and fantastic make-up and take yourself back 120 years presented by students from Stockport College.

Teachers also benefit from being at the event with specialist seminars being presented by the NWDA. Ensuring teachers have the most up-to-date and accurate information for their students.

As well as the open stage area exhibitors will be running interactive features throughout the three days. Everything in Skills North West is free and open to all, so you can enjoy trying beauty treatments, climbing walls, and winning prizes.  The Manufacturing Institute is showcasing the Make It stand featuring a wide range of employers offering many exciting and rewarding career opportunities from aerospace, automotive, chemicals, advanced flexible materials and food and drink manufacturing. Visitors can take away a range of goodies – from key rings to badges to drawstring bags and even aeroplanes – they just have to make them first!

Aegis design and make protective equipment for the police, special operations and military forces, on their stand visitors can have a go at sewing a drawstring bag perfect for securing all the information gathered at Skills North West.  Or visitors can feel the force with the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy & Marines. The forces offer a range of different career paths from postman to bomb disposal expert and you can scale the opportunities available on the climbing wall, try a practical demo with combat medics or produce a wanted poster and test yourself with the Intelligence Corps.

Andrew Coates from organisers Prospects Events said:- “Skills North West is designed to be interactive and fun, lively and noisy, dramatic and exciting. We hope it will encourage visitors to try new things and talk to people from many different organisations.  We are grateful for the support of our sponsors and all the exhibitors for making Skills North West such a dynamic and valuable experience for young people. Today’s downturn will not last for ever, young people are the future workforce and Skills North West is their chance to find out more about the career and training options available and to find out about careers they might never have considered.”

A visit to Skills North West will be an experience that could change the future, for students and for the region, so don’t miss out and come along. Parents, carers, family and teachers want to have fun too, so you can visit anytime Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9.30am and 3pm. Discover the directions available - don't delay and visit and book your places today.


THE bfa is providing offers of help and information to assist companies that have been forced to make redundancies. With such a variety of businesses making staff at all levels redundant, the bfa’s advice on franchising will prove essential for those that are looking at franchising as their next career step.

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, said:- “We have written to all of those organisations announcing redundancies to offer the bfa’s help in providing free sound advice to those individuals for whom business start-up might be an option. We will follow up these opportunities and make sure that good franchising, as represented by our bfa members, both franchisors and our professional Affiliates, is properly recognised.

As important as it is to educate people about the many benefits of buying into a franchise, not least its higher success rates than other business start-ups, it is also just as important to educate them about the realities. Success in franchising comes from hard work and dedication and in particular through the determined and disciplined utilisation of the franchisor’s proven business system. With such a variety of brands and industries now involved in franchising it is vital to know where to go and who to speak to.”
concludes Smart.

From the bfa supported exhibitions, to the bfa’s website and educational seminars, the bfa believes it is important to make sure that potential franchisees do their research and make sure that they can follow up on this proven business model with confidence.

For more information on franchising, upcoming bfa seminars and to register for exhibition tickets visit:

MPs support IAM initiative to lower £1.6bn cost of 'at-work' road deaths...

DEATHS while driving for work cost the UK more than £1.6bn in 2007. MPs of all parties are backing a road safety initiative to be launched on Wednesday 14 January 2009 by the occupational driver training division of the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) to cut this cost by reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads.

By completing an IAM Driver Risk Management (DRM) programme to assess and improve their driving, MPs will be setting an example for businesses of all sizes to manage the risks associated with their employees who drive for work.

IAM Fleet Managing Director Seb Goldin said:- "Around a third of all road accidents involve people driving for work, and for every death, there is an associated cost to the economy which can total billions of pounds each year.

This amount of deaths is not acceptable and is why we are asking MPs to take the lead in reducing the alarming road death rate."

MPs will conduct an IAM Fleet online risk assessment of their driving at the launch event - the vital first step of a DRM programme which identifies aspects of an individual's driving that need development. From this, a risk rating determines further training needs, ranging from e-learning to personal on-road training to improve driving skills.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has supported the road safety initiative because people who drive for work are over-represented in road accident figures.

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