ExCeL LONDON, 23 & 24 November 2018, 9.30am - 4pm

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Success Stories



Case Study Interview with John Cangson – Thales Rail Engineering Apprentice

John Cangson grew up on a council estate located in West Norwood, South East London. John enjoyed sixth form, studying History, Sociology and English Literature at A Level. At 16, confused about what he wanted to do in the future and convinced that university was not the right route for him, John received a leaflet by his sixth form about a careers event called ‘Skills London’. 

John recalls his Sociology teacher telling him “There’s nothing worse than waking up to a 9-to-5 job that you don’t enjoy”, something he says, he will always remember, and which led him to the conclusion that an office job, or sitting down filing paperwork was not the sort of career he wanted. 

He chose to attend Skills London for assistance in helping him decide on a career focus. In response to being asked why he attended the event, John said:

 “At the time, when I was 16, I was confused. I went from wanting to be a Doctor to wanting to be Lawyer. Skills London opens up different opportunities and possibilities in terms of your career and future endeavours.” 

At the event, John went to the Thales stand and from there started talking to one of the apprentices, Danny Anderson, who gave him the information and knowledge about the Apprenticeship Scheme. 

Following this, John was determined to apply for the Apprenticeship Scheme and after the event Danny continued to be a great support to John. Danny advised him to continue with his education and do well in his A Levels. Alongside his A Levels, John worked as a gardener and to gain basic engineering skills, John also worked for his friend’s MOT garage. Once a suitable age to join Thales, John applied for the Apprenticeship Scheme and was successful! John hopes to finish his 3 year Apprenticeship and work for Thales abroad. 

When asked if he would recommend Skills London to others, John replied:

“Yes, definitely! Skills London is the start of a bright future for everyone. Skills London has 200 exhibitors willing to talk to you, willing to talk about how to be successful in the future.”

Now training to be a Railway Signalist, John returned to Skills London 2015 to represent Thales, only two years after meeting Danny Anderson at the Thales Stand as a student. Tasked with speaking about the apprenticeship scheme to students, parents and teachers, John was also chosen to meet Boris Johnson. John feels Thales has provided him with a life-changing opportunity, a clearer career path and an exciting future ahead, and would urge others to attend careers events, such as Skills London.  

About Thales

Thales is one of the world’s biggest problem solvers. We take technology, mix it up with the expertise of our people, and create trailblazing solutions for our clients. Aerospace, Space, Transportation, Defence and Security are the areas we work in. This has enabled us to tackle everything from making getting from A to B easier, to protecting the money in people’s bank accounts.

We know a lot so we can teach you a lot. On an Engineering Apprenticeship we’ll immerse you in a world of complex and innovative technologies where natural problem solvers, like you, will thrive. Or, if you prefer the ‘hands on’ approach, there’s our Manufacturing Apprenticeship.  You could also join us on a Business Apprenticeship where we’ll help you sharpen your entrepreneurial skills as you help us achieve our strategic goals. 

You’ll learn the best way there is: by doing, on the job. You’ll have a mentor to guide you and you’ll be paid to work with cutting-edge technologies and ground-breaking projects. Plus, you could find yourself completing an accredited college course.

If you’re a problem solver who likes to look at things from different angles; if you’re curious about the world around you, working with us really is a no brainer.

Discover more. Discover Thales at http://ukearlycareers.thalesgroup.com/





#GetSkilled Case Study – Lambeth College


We asked Skills London sponsor Lambeth College about their exhibiting experience. Each year Lambeth College - the Careers College attend Skills London to showcase the extensive range of courses they offer, they host multiple #Get Skilled exhibition areas to highlight key faculties and to give our visitors a really hands-on experience and the chance to try a range a vocational skills throughout the event.

Exhibiting not only gives them a platform to demonstrate campus life in an engaging, highly inspiring and interactive way but also offers current students the opportunity to display and show other potential young students the skills they have learnt. We asked Fiona Whitewood, Marketing Manager to tell us more about their involvement….

What are the benefits to you as a college hosting a Get Skilled stand?

By hosting a Get Skilled stand, we have been able to reflect the direct connection that Lambeth College – The Careers College are making with employability. The Get Skilled stand provides the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our Careers College strategy through demonstrating our career ready ethos and professional teaching from lecturers who have worked in the vocational fields that they teach.

How do you organise your Get Skilled activities with your faculty teams?

We meet with Heads of Schools individually in the run up to the event to discuss ideas and build upon last year’s Get Skilled stand.

How do you decide on the right activity for your stands?

This heavily depends on the level of the student and what they feel comfortable doing, with supervision from the lecturer. It is important to consider which activities would best capture the interest of young people and stand out from competitors.

How has hosting a Get Skilled stand helped develop your current students?

It is a perfect opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills at a national event, in a real life setting with members of the public, employers and other exhibitors to network and engage with.

Can you give an example of how you measured your success of the extra investment by hosting a Get Skilled stand?

Our measurement of success will be based on the level of engagement and interaction that we achieve at our Get Skilled stands, which will enable us to support and prepare young people for their future career.


Linking the Get Skilled stands to the Corporate stand with a Christmas Tree Competition

Marketing Manager at Lambeth College explains how they successfully linked their stands at Skills London 2016 with an innovative competition.

"In order to reduce goody bag wastage and increase interaction with visitors, we created the following competition for Skills London 2016 which coincided nicely with Christmas.

We distributed Christmas tags to all of our Get Skilled stands, which were handed out to visitors by staff and students on the various stands. Instructions were included on the tag to find the purple Christmas tree, which was located on our corporate stand, and to hang the tag on the tree to receive a free goody bag!

This encouraged visitors to our corporate stand whereby our specialist staff members were able to offer course advice and assist with applications and enquiries. We also ran a second competition located on our corporate stand which involved a prize draw to win a free iPad if visitors registered their details via our data capture system. This dovetailed the purple Christmas tree competition, as we were able to ask visitors to register their details once they had placed their tag on the purple Christmas tree.

The Christmas tags proved to be very popular and created a buzz amongst the school pupils, especially on the Friday. It was also a great competition to promote in the run up to the event on social media as it built suspense and led the visitors on a mini scavenger hunt!"


Click here to find out what exhibitors, teachers, parents and young people thought of Skills London 2017!

The Fashion Retail Academy

The FRA is the leading vocational college for specialist fashion retail courses in subjects such as Buying, Visual Merchandising, Fashion Design and Marketing, with start dates throughout the year. Many of their courses are exclusive and have been developed to provide a combination of an in-depth knowledge with hands on practical experiences. They offer the fastest route to a fashion retail career; their students secure jobs at the same level as degree graduates but on average two years quicker and without incurring the large debts associated with university study.

The Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) is a unique, employer led college with charitable status. It was founded in 2005 as a result of a realisation that the industry faced an overwhelming skills gap for entry level jobs. Located in the heart of London, the FRA is just moments away from Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road.

The FRA offers a wide range of specialist fashion courses, many of these exclusive to the FRA, working with over 130 brands to provide unrivalled access to industry through master classes, live industry projects, workshops and placements to ensure graduates meet the current recruitment needs of the industry.

The FRA have been exhibiting at Skills London since 2012, we asked Rebecca Prowse, Events and Partnership Officer, why attending delivers such great results and how the FRA measures this success.

What are the top 3 reasons you have exhibited at Skills London since 2012?

  • As an exclusive and specialist retail training college we are relatively unknown. Skills London is an excellent way of bringing awareness of our Academy to local schools in and around London.
  • It is a cost effective and easily accessible way of reaching our target audience.
  • Skills London allows us to demonstrate what we offer as well as providing information and advice to both prospective students and careers professionals, who are interested in the different roles available in the fashion industry.

How does exhibiting at Skills London compare to other events you attend to recruit students?

  • Attending Skills London enables the Fashion Retail Academy to meet a large number of students from both local and national schools and colleges. The majority of our cohort originates from London and the Home Counties suggesting Skills London is the perfect location in which to reach our target audience.

How do you analyse effective return on investment from your attendance, please give some examples?

  • Measuring effective ROI is reliant on the number of prospective students that we data capture at Skills London. We measure return on investment throughout the academic year through the number of applications we receive which in turn convert to enrolment and on completion of their course at the Fashion Retail Academy.

Can you tell us how you tracked those visitors you met at Skills London through your enrolment procedures to ensure you are can measure direct results.

  • Data capture from our events attended throughout the academic year is held on a system with the name of event, whether an applicant attended an FRA Open Day and if they downloaded a prospectus. After enrolment is complete this information is cross referenced with the names of those enrolled on a course at the Academy and recorded.
  • We data captured 330 prospective students at the event, engaging with approximately 500 in total. From this we received 16 applications as a direct result prior to April 2016. This enabled our stand to be paid for 18 times over! A fantastic result!



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