Over 250 job-seekers interested in a career in the creative, digital, cultural and tourism industries attended a free event in Coventry as part of a programme of support for these sectors being delivered across Coventry this spring.
People ranging from 18 to 72 came along to have a chat with 40 businesses on Tuesday 5 April including Coombe Abbey Hotel, Parallel Creative, Coventry Building Society, CV Life and Severn Trent.
The Cabinet Office also had a stand to promote its Closer to Home scheme to encourage applications from across the region to a wide range of influential jobs in the UK Civil Service based in the Midlands.
There was a range of presentations in the morning session at the Meet the Employer event which was organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, the Resume Foundation and event sponsors the Belgrade Theatre in partnership with Coventry University, FinditinCW, CW Employment Solutions and Coventry City Council.
Job-hunters then had an opportunity to find out more about a wide range of jobs on offer in the area in the creative, digital, cultural and tourism industries in a busy afternoon session, attended by over 250 local people.
The event was part of the Coventry Creative Growth & Cultural Tourism Recovery Programme, being funded by the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, through the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Sarah Windrum, Chair of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), opened the event and stressed the importance of the creative, digital, cultural and tourism sectors to the area.
“This kind of event is really important to bring businesses and potential employees together as we recognise one of the most valuable sectors to Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy,” she said.
“It has been a challenging time over the last two years for businesses but Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture has really brought culture into everyone’s consciousness and shone a spotlight on the diverse job opportunities that are available.
“This kind of event gives us the opportunity to build on its legacy as well as highlight the important role the creative, digital, cultural and tourism industries have to play in Coventry and Warwickshire. Pre-Covid our creative industries alone were worth £1.1 billion to our regional economy and growth for these businesses will continue to drive future prosperity for everyone.
“One of the businesses attending this Meet the Employer event was University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust showing the importance of digital and creative skills across a wide range of employers. The NHS has the biggest IT department in the country and, as we move towards digitisation and helping the Government to implement its Levelling Up plans, this was a great chance for the hospital to promote the varied jobs that are available.”
Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the event had been such a success that plans are in the pipeline to hold another later in the year.
He said: “The Belgrade Theatre was buzzing as people of all ages chatted to businesses – there were teenagers just starting out on their careers and wanting to know more about a particular company to those of more advanced years who have decided during the pandemic to consider a change in their careers.
“One person already has a job interview lined up and others had an opportunity to get feedback on their CVs because if you haven’t applied for a job for a while it can be difficult to know what employers want.
“Our aim was to hold an event to help Coventry businesses in the creative, digital, cultural and tourism sectors to connect with fresh talent – and the positivity generated throughout the sessions suggests that was achieved.
“We hope to hold another similar event to this in the near future and are busy planning other activities to support growth and employment in this sector, including a new opportunities portal dedicated to businesses in the creative, cultural and tourism industries which will go live in May.”