Careers Fair at John HansonOn Thursday 6 th October John Hanson community school hosted an extravaganza of a careers event for the Andover Secondary Schools.

Following on from previous successful careers fairs, Lynn Richards, the schools Careers Advisor, and Anna Hall, Assistant Headteacher, decided this was too good an event for the other 15-16year olds in the town to miss. After a year of planning the day saw over 600 students from John Hanson, Harrow Way, Rookwood, Winton, The Andover Education Centre, Mark Way and Grateley House spend an hour each perusing the many stalls around the sports hall. They also listened to a motivational talk by Alan Bullock, Freelance careers & higher education consultant, adviser, speaker and writer and left at the end of the day feeling much more informed about their future choices.

Alan is a really motivational speaker and his talks are always inclusive of who ever his audience may be and whatever educational ability they may have. He explained that people’s career plans develop at different speeds and the average person will have 6 different careers in their lifetime. The career the student may be in at the age of 25, may not have been invented yet. He listed 98 careers of the future e.g. Urban Shepherd, Space Tour Conductor! He also gave examples of some of his ex students and the careers they are in which are unrelated to their degree subjects. Great information about apprenticeships and the nearly 200 different ones currently are available, albeit not all available in Andover. He mentioned the skills that employers are looking for because our country needs these young people – they are our country’s future!

David Gleave, Economic Development Officer at Test Valley Borough Council said of the day: “It is vitally important that young people and their parents are given every opportunity to understand the many options open to them as they leave school at 16. This Careers Event is a tremendous venture between education and employers, trainers and further education. The level of partnership between Andover schools is a strength of the town and it is to be commended and is something the council supports.”

This was the first year John Hanson were able to get quite so many people involved, with representatives from local business’ including: AECOM, the Army, Basingstoke ITEC, Be Wiser, Bioquell, DSTL, Eric Robinson Solicitors, Hampshire Police, Lloyds Banking, North Hampshire Hospitals, Ocado, Premier Inn, Randall Parker Foods, RB industrial, The Royal Navy, Salisbury Arts, Santander, Simply Health, SMA, Strathmore Vets, TVBC, Valley Leisure and the Warsash Maritime Museum. Joining these were all the local colleges and sixth form providers, universities and guests from the training sector. Anna Hall said of the support the school received: “Without these companies giving up their time, the event wouldn’t have been such a huge success; for that we are truly grateful”. The other schools appeared to find the day just as useful as John Hanson students with feedback including: Steve Langdown from Test Valley: “Our pupils were very positive and engaged throughout the hour. There were so many colleges, training providers and apprenticeship offers, it was fabulous. Alan was an inspiring speaker too, and it was really good to be a community working together for the benefit of all our pupils in the Andover Area.”

Similarly, Nicola Gregson, from Harrow Way said: “A huge thank you to John Hanson for all you did to make the day such a tremendous success. The feedback from both staff and students was overwhelmingly positive, both for the talk and the fair itself”, and Headteacher Mike Serridge, “Great to see the Andover & Area Schools collaborating in this way.”

Lynn Richards summarised the day: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity for students from so many schools in the area, to have the chance to talk to local employers, colleges, universities and training providers, all in the one place.  Together, with an inspirational talk from our guest speaker, Alan Bullock, students will now be better prepared to plan their Post 16 Progression routes.  I am extremely grateful to everyone who gave up their time to support our students for this event. This indeed was a collaborative event with the other schools and one I am certainly keen to repeat in future years.’

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at