Event Review

New partnership for change

Two local charities and an Aston based Academy got together to tackle one of the biggest issues affecting local residents and young people in particular.

With the help of the West Midlands combined authority and 25 Birmingham-based businesses, training and voluntary organisations who came together on the 21st February 2018 to bring hundreds of opportunities for the local people of Aston. The Bidgley power foundation - an Aston based charity working with young and disabled people through educational mentoring and sport along with the New Hope charity Birmingham brought together a host of organisations to make a difference in the lives of people in Aston. As one resident pointed out no such jobs fair had ever been done in the area for at least 40 years and it was very much overdue.This lack of action or even intervention within an area of high unemployment and particularly youth unemployment was stark.


Mayor Street threw his full weight behind the project helping to persuade many of the most significant names in the industry, retail and training to attend the job fair and bring with them over 800 vacancies or positions for young people. The job fair saw over 1100 people visiting. A survey of all the exhibitors was carried out by the Bidgley power foundation which found that over 420 people had accessed services or job opportunities from the 25
organisations which exhibited at the job fair. Another landmark in the project was the degree of civic volunteering which was achieved with over 36
volunteers involved donating over 412 hours of volunteering with a value of £2800. Volunteers also covered a 112 streets in the Aston area doing leaflet
drops and reaching out to residents which were borne out by the many hundreds of people who in turn attended.

The job fair was a resounding success for both local employers who found high-quality leads and also for residents who had not been able to access such a vast range of opportunities before. Imran Bashir who led and recruited a consortium of training companies, as well as the job-centre group, said, “the job fair has been a huge success, we brought 400 live job opportunities for local people to access but the numbers of people coming has really made the day for my team and me.”