With over 60 exhibitors including universities from all corners of the UK, as well as representatives from a diverse variety of professions, industries and gap years, there was something for every taste, talent and aspiration at Moreton Hall’s annual Universities and Careers Fair. With visiting pupils from Ysgol Dinas Bran, The Marches and the Maelor School, Penley, Moreton Hall’s Sports Hall buzzed with the sound of young people exploring how to start their career journey and realise their dreams.

Arla Foods, the fifth biggest dairy company in the world, and the largest producer of dairy in Scandinavia, attended the fair. Arla talked to students about the chance to explore and evolve their talent through responsibility, challenging projects and global opportunities.

Whilst Aico, an Oswestry based company, who are the European market leader in home life safety, attended the fair to talk to students about the apprenticeships in areas such as customer services and manufacturing. Apprenticeships, such as the ones offered by Aico, let students gain hands-on experiences and skills, and are an alternative to traditional university-based learning.

The school’s own alumni are always a key part of this highlight of the school calendar. Old Moretonian Georgie Lang (OM 2018), led a well-attended Oxbridge application talk and was joined on the Oxbridge stand by Ellen Rowlands (OM 2019).

Alura Bather and Emily Edwards also attended the fair to talk about their work as a Criminal Barrister and Architect respectively. Jessica Hatcher-Moore hosted a popular stand on careers in journalism, whilst Jo Chavasse was a must-visit opportunity for students interested in nannying as part of a gap year. Employers such as the British Army and Project Trust were also in attendance, guiding students through alternative paths after school.

Seminars including Oxford Brookes, ‘How to Choose the Right University and Course’,

Imperial College on ‘How to Make an Effective Competitive Application’, Aston University on ‘The UK University Experience for International Students’ and ‘Study Abroad’ with Burnett Global and our USA University specialist Phil Garner, were well attended and lively, with many questions answered. Equally buzzing and busy were the representatives of the many universities attending, keen to meet this exciting cohort of young people.

For Jessica Hatcher-Moore the chance to inspire a new generation of young people was a welcome one: “It was a pleasure to speak to so many bright minds at Moreton Hall’s Careers Fair – doing my best to inspire people to pursue a career they love.”

Lower Sixth student, Hattie, said: “The Careers Fair was the perfect opportunity to find out more about each university and to give me the information to narrow down my options to ensure I find the perfect course and university for me. The seminars were particularly helpful in giving an in-depth insight into programmes such as Oxbridge, as well as companies giving us advice on work experience, apprenticeships, graduate programmes and life after university.”

It was a sentiment echoed by a visiting Lower Sixth parent who was in no doubt of the work that had gone into making the day happen: “Another great Careers Fair, thank you so much Team Next Steps. We are so lucky to have an event like this, which really does help us as parents to support our children in formulating a plan for what will come after the school Years. It was extremely insightful and reassuring to speak to university reps, Gap Year opportunity providers and, perhaps most of all, OMs who are thriving at university or fully immersed in their career and happy to share their experiences and give advice. We came away with plenty to think about and some useful contacts of people more than happy for us to follow up with any questions.”

Parent of Moreton student, Sasha Kenney, said: “A great event! Fantastic atmosphere and very informative. Thank you to everyone at Moreton Hall for organising.”

Reflecting on the day, Head of Next Steps, Catherine Ashworth commented: “It was wonderful to hear the buzz of so many excited young people engaging with the exhibitors to discover more about the array of opportunities available to them. The university representatives were all impressed by the calibre of questions the students were asking and despite being thoroughly exhausted by the end of the morning, will definitely be back again next year.”

Visiting the Moreton Hall Careers Fair for the first time, Principal Michael Brewer said:

“The Moreton Hall Careers Fair is like nothing I have seen in nearly twenty years of working in independent schools. It is simply not normal for schools to host something approaching the scope and success of this event. Unsurprisingly, the exceptional benefits extend far beyond our grounds into the wider community; so many young people will have been excited and inspired today. All credit to Mrs Ashworth, Mrs Lang, and our incredible estates and marketing teams for making the should-be-impossible, possible.”