Rachel hoping Expo will put her in shop window
RACHEL COX has renewed her plea for gap year work in events management after offers dried up – and is hoping The Herald's forthcoming Get Hired Expo might also help her.
The 19-year-old, from Ivybridge, last year appealed through The Herald's Get Hired campaign for paid work, work experience or an internship during her year between A-levels and a degree.
There was an initial flood of offers, but only one has turned into reality, and Rachel is grateful for the week she spent at Crownhill-based Fuel Communications just prior to Christmas.
However Rachel, who also attended the BBC Good Food Show at NEC Birmingham with Buckfastleigh's The Well Hung Meat Company, is now twiddling her thumbs.
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She is hoping other firms or organisations will be able to accommodate her, or that those that initially came forward will now be able to follow up their interest.
And, while pleased with the experience an unpaid placement provides, she is a hoping a paid job, in her chosen field, might still be a possibility.
"I'm now completely unemployed and have applied for even more jobs," said Rachel.
"And not having work is getting difficult. My parents will support me, but I want to earn my own money. I've nothing coming in at the moment. So I'd really like paid work."
Rachel was, however, delighted with the time she spent at Fuel, and said she is still in contact with the marketing agency.
Rachel initially contacted 60 firms after she deferred taking her spot at Plymouth University until next September so she could gain valuable experience.
But she found herself in a classic Catch-22 trap: she needs experience to gain experience. So Rachel told The Herald about her difficulties in a bid to coax firms to take her on, and to highlight the problems faced by novice teenagers as they try to get on the jobs ladder.
And she's backing The Get Hired Expo, at the Guildhall, on March 15, from 10am to 7pm, as a way of putting job seekers in contact with employers.
"I'll go to the Expo," she said. "I find that not many places advertise their jobs, or do so internally.
"You have to know where to go, or to what website, and then you are deep in the dark depths of the Internet."
She said the type of face-to-face contact the expo will provide will be helpful and added: "I already always try to ring people about jobs, then they can at least put a voice to your application.
"The expo is about making contact, and that's the main thing," she said.
The Herald is shifting the Get Hired employment campaign off the page and into the Guildhall with the all-day, free-to-enter expo to help job-seekers find work.
The event will feature dozens of employers and organisations giving advice and work opportunities to Plymouth's job-hunters.
Among organisations already committed to taking part are City College Plymouth, Working Links, Plymouth Citybus, Blue Screen IT, Cornwall College and Venus Training and Consultancy.
If you are an employer who can offer Rachel something, please get in touch. Or if you are in a similar position and want your story to be featured in the Get Hired campaign, tell us too. Contact business editor William Telford at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01752 765529.