Virtual Progression Fair will unite Essex providers and businesses in support for younger people

Virtual Progression Fair will unite Essex providers and businesses in support for younger people

A brand new virtual Progression Fair, with partners Make Happen, University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University, organised by Chelmsford College, will bring together over 100 Essex businesses, voluntary organisations and training providers to ensure school and college leavers receive maximum insight into their next career choices.

In a normal College year, Chelmsford College would have a “Progression Fair”, inviting around 80 exhibitors into their Dovedale Sports Hall, so students and apprentices could work out what they wanted to do next, after they’ve completed their current College study programme.

Sarah-Jane Easdown, Careers Leader of the Careers Advice Zone Team at Chelmsford College and key organiser of the event says “After such a challenging 12 months this is a fantastic opportunity for young people to start thinking about their options and look towards their future.”

Over 100 exhibitors, including local businesses and other partner agencies, in conjunction with sponsors Anglia Ruskin University, University of Essex and Make Happen will join forces to utilise a new online platform called “LiketoBe” to deliver a packed timetable of events on Tuesday 11 May from 9.30am.  A special evening session featuring Higher Education and alternatives and supported learning, will run from 5pm to 7pm.

Most students and apprentices will be guided and supported to attend the virtual event through their regular Tutorial sessions.  Visitors can choose from ten workshops, two live events and wellbeing sessions and be able to safely network with exhibitors, sponsors and educational organisations in their respective online zones.

Andy Sparks, Principal of Chelmsford College says “We’re delighted to lead such an innovative virtual event to help young people in Essex work out what they want to do next.  Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for our future generations to be inspired by local business and enterprise.  We appreciate everyone who has collaborated with us to present this exciting virtual event and look forward to supporting young people with their future career choices.”

Stephen Pomfret, Head of Make Happen, Office for Students Uni Connect Programme says “Make Happen is delighted to be supporting the Progression Fair online career networking event at Chelmsford College.  We’re dedicated to unlocking opportunities for young people across Essex.  Working with schools and colleges to support students’ progression by helping them make informed choices about their education and future.  This event offers young people the valuable chance to network with employers, colleges, and universities to find out more about the options available to them in the future.”

Heather Harvey, Schools Membership Team at University of Essex says “The University of Essex have been working closely with Chelmsford College for many years and are delighted to be supporting them with this year’s Progression Fair.  At Essex, we put student success at the heart of our mission, and recognise the importance of engaging and inspiring young people to equip them with the information and confidence they need to make informed decisions about Higher Education and their futures.”

Paul Dunton, Head of Schools and Colleges Engagement at Anglia Ruskin University says “ARU are delighted to be supporting the Progression Fair and helping students from Chelmsford College with their future plans.  With many Chelmsford College students choosing ARU as their first choice every year, we are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the range of courses available at ARU.  Please find out more about our offer and good luck with the next steps.”

Dr Antony Jinman, Founder and CEO of LikeToBe, says “We are excited to be working with Chelmsford College on their first virtual Progression Fair.  When I founded LikeToBe, I envisioned connecting young people, employers, organisations and education providers together to inspire, guide and inform young people.  The aim is to help young people gain an understanding of the world of work and how they can get more prepared for the next stage of their career journey.  In today’s world, the shift towards reaching young people digitally and leaving a virtual legacy has never been more important.”

The virtual event will remain open – with all the workshops, recordings from the live events and networking being accessible and questions still being answered – until 30 June 2021.  If you’d like to take part, please sign up at

Free careers advice and support will be available during the virtual event and afterwards, through Chelmsford College by calling 01245 293031 or by emailing