The UK’s only woodworking exhibition, W16, will be launching its Skills For Excellence Zone at the NEC Birmingham from the 2nd -5th October.

In a bid to reduce the growing skills gap in the furniture manufacturing sector and increase awareness of the careers available to school leavers and job-seekers alike, W16 has teamed up with leading industry bodies to entice talented individuals to the industry.

Lisa Campagnola, Event Director of W16, explains, “For many, the presence of a career advisor in a school is something of a novelty and with the demise of government funded career groups, such as The Connection, a growing number of people are having to look for career advice and support in other ways. That’s where W16’s new careers and training advice hub comes in. From joinery and kitchen fitting to furniture design and industry procurement, whatever your passion, we want to help people, regardless of their age and background, reach their potential.”

So what will be on offer to visitors? If you’re looking to explore a career in the sector, The British Woodworking Federation will be on hand to offer an insight into the industry, while specialist recruitment agencies, skills bodies and woodworking training provider, Didac Training College, will be on hand to talk through the opportunities that exist within the industry and the training available.

The interactive area will also support and educate businesses looking to invest in new employees, with funding and recruitment advisers and apprenticeship experts guiding you through your options. It will also home the event’s official charity partner, Help for Heroes. The charity, which is dedicated to rebuilding the lives of those who have been left with life-changing injuries and illnesses while serving our country, will be showcasing the talents and achievements of ex-servicemen and offering potential employers an opportunity to talk to beneficiaries first hand.

Lisa adds, “We want W16 to champion the manufacturers of tomorrow and become a driving force behind the industry’s future. By nurturing young talent, promoting apprenticeship schemes and working side-by-side with Help for Heroes, we’re confident that we can engage with employers and aid the future careers of talented individuals.”

To register for your free ticket to W16 or its co-located furniture components show, Elements, please visit www.wexhibition.co.uk or for the latest news follow @W_Exhibition and @Elements_Expo on Twitter.