University Of Bedfordshire Teaching Fair

University Of Bedfordshire Teaching Fair

Careers and Recruitment Services worked in collaboration with academic and support staff across departments within the University of Bedfordshire, while engaging local and national organisations to create an opportunity for students, staff, unions and employers to share knowledge, skills and experiences of careers in the education/teaching sector, as well as develop a relationship between potential employers and the University of Bedfordshire.

In January 2014 the Careers and Recruitment Services team ran their annual Teaching Fair for all University of Bedfordshire Initial Teacher Training finalists. It was voted a great success by all who attended

The event, on Friday 17th January at the Bedford campus, is a great way to bring students and employers together for job and networking opportunities. Students attended the lecture by Steve Hardy -NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) on how to approach employers and sign up for job opportunities. Students commented that they found this lecture very empowering and from there over four-hundred students went on to network with exhibitors, offering a wide range of teaching/teaching related opportunities across the UK including London, the East and South-East of England.

Exhibitors commented that students were ‘well prepared for the event’ and ‘very engaged’. The ‘atmosphere was fantastic’; they ‘found it very valuable’, and ‘will definitely come back next year’.

Students remarked on the diverse range of employers, including alternative organisations (such as Disney English) and trade unions. ‘The atmosphere was really good’ and they ‘found the event itself very useful’.

Both the exhibitors and students thought the event was brilliantly organised, thanks to the Careers and Recruitment Services team at Bedford, the Initial Teacher Training department and kind volunteers who gave their own time and to ensure the event was a success.

Event highlights

  • Well received innovation of a welcome event before the Fair
  • The date coincided exactly with the TES NQT magazine, plenty of free copies were available on campus on the day
  • More space, including more rooms to exhibit in
  • Larger range of exhibitors than any previous year over a wider area

The Evaluation

Overall, how useful was the event for you?

Over 95% of respondents (student and exhibitor) felt that the event was either ‘very useful’ or ‘quite useful’.

Comments on date, venue, admin and support

  • ‘Carefully planned layout’
  • ‘Knew where everything was’
  • ‘Easy to get to’
  • ‘Lots of Space’
  • ‘Excellent, very good and roomy’
  • ‘Good time to recruit/exhibit’
  • ‘Fits perfectly with closing date for pool’
  • ‘Pre-event admin good, and quick response, great ‘bus pass’
  • ‘Thank you for the refreshments’
  • ‘I appreciate the support’

Employer feedback – How prepared were students?

  • ‘Most were well prepared and several had further questions to ask about provision for NQTs’
  • ‘Some were very well prepared with their details pre-printed out’
  • ‘Slips completed were a great idea’
  • ‘Primary need to realise they may need to move to find first teaching post’

Student feedback

What did you enjoy most about today’s event?
  • ‘The opportunity to meet the people who will actually be helping us pass our first year teaching”
  • ‘The helpfulness of the people’
  • ‘Variety of resources’
  • ‘Chance to learn about different ways of getting a job’
  • ‘Finding out extra info on schools and LEAs’
  • ‘Speaking to professionals in the industry’
  • ‘The variety and unique selling point of various LEAs’
  • ‘Getting more information about ways of applying’ ‘Being able to ask questions directly to the organisations at the fair’
  • ‘Being able to talk to the authority about pooling’
How could we have improved the event?
  • ‘Not at all’
  • ‘More spaced out, would be less crowded and hot’
  • ‘All together, not spread out’
  • ‘More areas of the UK covered. Have representatives from further afield. More of a national event, councils from northern counties. More London based LEAs needed’
  • ‘Actual jobs – fight for them!’
  • ‘More people on each stand’
  • ‘Maybe have a break in between and make the event longer because it has been a bit rushed to get around all of the stalls and complete additional forms’
  • ‘Students (others) seemed very unaware of the purpose of the event (an opportunity to get information suitable for you). Need to explain to students beforehand what it is about’
  • ‘More information, tips on interviews, meet head teachers etc’
  • ‘Set slots to make it less busy’
  • ‘More teachers to speak to’

Contact for further information

Christine Smith