Fancy being a priest, a nuclear waste disposer or an RAF intelligence specialist? The unexpected roles on offer at today’s Suffolk Skills Show

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk Show is happening today at Trinity Park in Ipswich, offering 5,000 young people the chance to find out more about the apprenticeships, courses and career pathways on offer in the county.

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL - Credit: Archant

Colchester and Ipswich Museums representatives Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis were showing youngsters their 10,000 year-old wooly mammoth’s tooth, and were also on the lookout for nine trainees to work in their museums as part of a traineeship programme paid for with lottery funding.

“We like any excuse to get wierd stuff out for kids to guess what it is!” said Ms Root.

At the stall for ECITB, EEEGR and Opito energy companies, budding engineers were able to have a go at picking up pens using a robotic arm to demonstrate how nuclear fuel rods are dumped.

13 year-old Jacob Leslie and 12 year-old AJ Thavaseelan were trying out EDF Energy stall’s virtual reality masks, showing a real-life nuclear reactor. “Its made me think that maybe I could imagine working in nuclear energy,” said AJ, adding: “But ideally, I’d like to get a job in enterprise.”

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL - Credit: Archant


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Church of England priests were also manning a stall. “A lot of young people don’t realise they can pursue this as a career from a young age,” said Max Drinkwater, a Suffolk Diocese priest in Newmarket. “The future of our church lies in young people - otherwise it will die off.”

A representative from the supermarket chain Aldi was looking for aspiring apprentices, as well as looking to fill 50 staff positions at the new Aldi opening at Martlesham Heath next April.

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At an adjoining stall, RAF Corporal Dan Simson explained that the RAF has 22 different types of apprenticeships and more than 55 roles currently available.

“We particularly need people to come work for us as chefs, and in intelligence roles,” Mr Simson explained. “Especially people who can speak foreign languages, to listen in to communications.”

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL - Credit: Archant

For those considering higher education, East Coast College offered youngsters a chance to try chocolate welding, and wannabe DJs could get on the decks on the Suffolk New College stall.

About 11 of the East Anglian colleges and universities present at the event are members of NEACO (Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach), a collaboration which aims to encourage informed decision making about higher education. Project coordinator Tom Ratcliffe explained: “The show is an opportunity for young people not to be ‘talked at’ about higher education, but to get some real insight into what student life is really like.

“The biggest misconception young people have about higher education is around funding. The term ‘student debt’ can sound scary, but by managing the pay structure, it doesn’t have to be.

“Its a time in the UK at the moment when things are in shift, so its good for young people to be well prepared for the future.”

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL

Eleanor Root and Taryn Dennis of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Picture: JESSICA HILL - Credit: Archant

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