A showcase event to help job seekers find their next career move has been hailed a success.

The 2018 Middlesbrough Jobs Fair drew more than 1,000 people to Middlesbrough Town Hall to meet a range of prospective employers.

Around 70 employers and training providers gathered for the event in the spectacular surroundings of the newly-restored and refurbished Victorian venue.

Almost 700 positions were up for grabs for job-seekers who attended the fair, which was hosted by Middlesbrough Council in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the National Careers Service, Middlesbrough College and Middlesbrough Community Learning.

Firms showcasing their career opportunities included Sirius Minerals, Bowmer and Kirkland, Middlesbrough FC, Katmex, Cleveland Cable, First Source Solutions, Mabo Media, Appamondo and Arriva.

A ‘Digital Showcase’ also put the spotlight on some of the Tees region’s up-and-coming digital businesses specialising in gaming, VR and digital technology.

The event also featured a series of innovative offers to help job hunters thanks to a partnership between Northern and Middlesbrough Council.

The initiatives – aimed at helping local people into work as well as boosting Middlesbrough’s economy – include:

  • A 50% discount for job seekers, with a Jobcentre Plus Railcard – helping them get to interviews, meet potential employers and find work.
  • A Corporate Season Ticket Scheme aimed at local businesses, giving staff access to low-cost travel, including twelve weeks free per year. Supported through the business, by an interest free loan paid back through monthly repayments from staff salary.

Northern Commercial Manager North East Anna Weeks said:  “As the main regional rail provider, we are committed to supporting the growth of the North East economy through better public transport.

“Our support to job seekers is a key part of our wider scheme to transform travel in the North East, with extended services already launched in Tees Valley and much better integration between rail and bus.

Middlesbrough Council Investment and Growth manager Debbie Ingoldsby said: “We had an amazing turn-out, with well over a thousand jobseekers coming through the door, and more than 70 exhibitors covering a wide range of different jobs and sectors from engineering and construction to digital, marketing, health care and transport.

“Our aim is to make sure companies are investing in Middlesbrough and we support business growth to continue to further develop our status as a major economic centre.

“There is a huge amount of regeneration taking place in the area and we have to make sure local people are being connected with the job opportunities, as well as ensuring that they have the right skills in place.  We work closely with education and training providers such as Middlesbrough College and Teesside University, to make sure the right skills are being developed and that Middlesbrough residents get the opportunity to link into the jobs that are available now and coming up in the future.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “The success of this week’s Jobs Fair is a tribute to the effort and commitment of everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.

“Bringing employers together with the right people is essential if we are to continue the investment and growth that are already helping to transform, and this event acted as a showcase for the great companies and enterprises we have on our doorstep.

“I have no doubt it will have been the start of new and life-changing success stories for many of those who attended.”