Students, jobseekers and local employers have been able to connect at the Forbes Local Jobs and Careers Expo.
It's the first event of its kind in our area since COVID-19 - and the auditorium at Club Forbes was absolutely abuzz as exhibitors shared information and insights.
More than 30 exhibitors covering a wide range of local industries including ag machinery, metal fabrication, agriculture, hospitality, real estate, mining, transport, disability support, legal services, financial services and education, were on hand to meet young people and their families, as well as teachers and community members.
Many of the exhibitors who talked with the Advocate spoke about the difficulty they have faced over the past couple of years in recruiting staff across the board for a variety of roles.
The event was a great opportunity for these employers to connect directly with current and future job seekers.
The Expo was organised under the Regional Industry Education Partnerships program and coordinator Janice Little said just over 100 people came through the doors, including students from secondary schools in Forbes, Parkes, Canowindra and Grenfell.
"Accessing career information directly from employers is vitally important for young people and one of the key aims of the RIEP program," she said.
"Evidence has shown that the more contact secondary school students have with industry while still at school the better.
"They are more able to identify the skills and training they need to plan their post school transition and their employment prospects are improved."
Given the number of families impacted by COVID and isolation requirements at the moment, it's a promising start to an event she trusts will continue to grow - giving more and more local young people the opportunity to see the range of pathways and options open to them right here in our region.