MORE THAN 200 jobs and apprenticeships were on offer at a jobs and careers fair organised by Keighley MP Kris Hopkins.

He arranged for 40 businesses and organisations to have stalls at the event in the atrium of Keighley College during National Apprenticeship Week. (March 10)

Hundreds of college and school students milled around the concourse and chatted to representatives from the companies.

Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, officially opened the jobs fair at the invitation of Mr Hopkins.

Mr Jones said: “There has never been a greater requirement to focus on the skills we need in this country.

“At the heart of that is making connections between people wanting to start their careers and businesses who need apprentices.

“There will live vacancies at this fair, and Keighley College is at the heart of developing skills in the community.”

Mr Hopkins said businesses and public organisations had a responsibility to broaden the horizons of young people.

He said: “I left school at 15 and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Opening the doors to your institutions will give a lot of young people different horizons.

“What can be seen in Keighley and not just factories – there are scientists, engineers, physicists in those buildings.”

Among the companies publicising their apprenticeship opportunities was TaxAssist Accountants, which has offices in the Keighley and Ilkley.

Client manager Kathryn Utley showcased employee Georgina Burn, who was named Apprentice of the Year at the Keighley Business Awards.

Georgina joined Tax Assist about six years ago as an apprentice and now runs the company’s new Bingley office. She will this summer qualify as a chartered accountant.

Kathryn said: “Apprenticeships are massively important. They are our main recruitment route. We work closely with the colleges.”

The Skipton Building Society had a stall at the jobs fair where students could talk to current apprentices Nicola Wood and Emily Moses.

Teenagers were able to discover the wide range of roles available with the 2,000- employee company across 60 departments.

Nicola said the Skipton Building Society ran a three-year programme where apprentices worked in several departments before deciding which role they wanted to specialise in.