Leeds Apprenticeship Festival 2021 has now ended. This page is no longer updated. Thank you.
Employment and Skills Leeds
8 - 12 February 2021

Helpdesk and Careers Support

Tips and Advice

This website can be used on a laptop, tablet or smartphone, although the live sessions will be best viewed on a desktop or laptop.

  • If you contact an employer directly or via the live sessions - do your research in advance and be prepared with any questions you might have, preparation is everything.
  • You can return to the website for 30 days after the event and will be able view content during this time.
  • For more tips on getting the most out of this event and for general information on apprenticeships – visit our stand, Leeds Apprenticeship Hub

Don't forget to visit the Learn About Apprenticeships page for general help on using this site and on apprenticeships.

The live meet and greet sessions are limited and require you to book a ticket via the Book a Live Session section. These sessions are best viewed on a desktop or laptop using the Chrome browser.

An online festival serves the same purpose as a physical fair, allowing you to talk with different employers all at one event, but there are some noticeable differences in how they work. These extra tips will help you to navigate our virtual festival and the live sessions like a pro.

1. Test your tech before the festival

Don’t leave it until the last minute to check that your tech is in working order. Is your device fully charged? Is your internet connection OK? Is your usual browser compatible with the platform? Can you log on? Are your webcam and microphone working ready for a chat with an employer? You can check most of these before the event starts and, if you spot any issues, you’ll be able to solve them early on – rather than eating into your valuable time at the event.

Tech troubles are universal. Be patient if a live session is delayed, an employer is experiencing issues or the organiser has encountered a wider problem on the platform.

If you encounter any problems accessing the meet and greet sessions try these tips:

  • Use a desktop or laptop with a recent version of chrome browser software
  • Enable your microphone and camera in your Internet settings
  • Disable any VPN or firewalls in your internet settings
  • Check your internet connection is strong

2. Have a plan of action for the festival

You can’t just wander casually around our virtual festival and approach the stands that catch your eye or look less busy. You’ll need to be more direct and have a plan of action, but still be open-minded if you encounter an employer you haven’t heard of before. You never know!

  • Look at which employers are attending (ideally before the event) and decide which stands/webpages you want to take a closer look at, who you’d like to have a conversation with and what questions you’d like to ask.
  • When you enter the festival website or a live meet and greet session, don’t rush straight to an employer’s webpage or table. Take five minutes or so to familiarise yourself with the platform the sessions are being hosted on, including the layout and the navigation.
  • Make the most of all of the festival website. You’ll learn a lot from features such as this page and the Learn About Apprenticeships section. Find out the times of any live sessions and plan your schedule. If you can’t make it to a live session, ask questions directly via the Leeds Employment Hub page or directly via an employers page.

3. Draft your elevator pitch to employers

A common piece of advice for attending events like this is to know your elevator pitch; how you’ll introduce yourself to an employer when you approach them. This still applies to virtual events.

Think short and snappy, friendly and helpful - maybe "Hi, I’ve just finished A-Levels and would like to work for a professional career instead of going to University, I see that you do degree apprenticeships, how do I find out more please?"

4. Get in the right mindset for an apprenticeship festival

It’s easy to see virtual events as a lazy alternative to face-to-face events – you don’t even have to leave your bedroom if you don’t want to. But you shouldn’t snooze on such a valuable opportunity.

  • Give the festival your undivided attention – if you’re half-heartedly browsing while also juggling TikTok, Netflix and study/ work, you won’t achieve much.
  • You may work well from your bed or your sofa, but if your environment affects your mood and productivity, consider sitting at your desk to get in the right frame of mind.
  • Set yourself up for the day – make yourself a cup of tea, fill up your water bottle, have your CV ready to refer to and to email to employers - and have a notepad and pen to take notes.
  • Make sure your background is tidy in case an employer calls you. No dirty laundry, leftover pizza or personal items in sight.
  • There’s no need for office-appropriate attire and you can ditch the smart shoes in favour of slippers but re-think the pyjamas. Employers won’t love your dressing gown as much as you do.

5. Maintain a high standard of written communication

Even though it’s a virtual event your written communication during a virtual apprenticeship festival is still important. First impressions count so make sure your messages to exhibitors are professional.

  • Use full, grammatically-correct, sentences.
  • Take your time. There’s no need to rush to reply and make mistakes.
  • Don’t use txt-speak, casual slang, memes or gifs that you’d use with your friends.
  • Check that what you’ve written is clear, makes sense and doesn’t waffle. Equally, be careful not to sound too blunt or demanding.
  • Read over your messages for typos before pressing send.
  • Be courteous and, once you’ve finished talking, thank them for their time and advice.

If it feels appropriate, you could also ask a recruiter for their email address or if they’d be happy to connect on LinkedIn so that you can follow up with them after the event.

You should also act on any advice you received at the fair from individual employers or through the general info. For example, you could update your CV and LinkedIn profile based on information you found out from recruiters. Leeds Employment Hub can help you update your CV – come talk to us at our Live Session table or visit our stand for contact information

FAQs

Q1: How long will this website be available for?

Content on the website will be available until 14th March 2021 (30 days after the last live session on 12th February).

Q2: How do I get in touch with an exhibitor?

Contact details are available on the exhibitor's individual page - their preferred method of contact is displayed and you can reach out directly to them using any of these methods.

Q3: How can I talk live with an exhibitor?

Some exhibitors are taking part in live meet and greet sessions. There are details in the Book A Live Session section. Register for the session you are interested in then you will receive joining instructions.

Q4: Do I need to have my web camera on when attending sessions or visiting the apprentice festival?

It is not required, however, in the live meet and greet sessions there will be an opportunity to visit virtual tables so you may want to appear in these. It is encouraged to appear and interact in a professional manner, please see our code of conduct.

Q5: How do I access a live meet-and-greet session?

Book a ticket on the website, you will then be sent joining instructions and a link. Use this link on the day of the event to be taken to an Airmeet session.

Q6: Do we need specific software to host or attend a live meet-and-greet event?

No, the live meet-and-greet sessions (Airmeet) works perfectly well on all your modern-day browsers and does not need any software or extensions.

Q7: Which browsers are supported?

Airmeet supports all modern browsers. However, we recommend the latest version of Chrome to be used for the best experience — chrome 79 or latest.

Q8: Will it work on a mobile browser?

The mobile experience is currently limited to only consumption of live stream, and the interactive features are not accessible. We recommend that you use a desktop or laptop with a stable internet connection. The event is best experienced on Chrome.

Q9: Do I have to use audio and video?

No, however, you will only be able to join a table using at least audio.

Q10: Do I have to provide any personal details?

Your first name only. You will also be asked for your organisation, town and country. Please insert ‘not applicable’ into these categories.

Q11: What is a social lounge?

Social lounge is the space where the participant can be seated at virtual tables, and interact with people in the same table. People can also move between tables to meet and join interactions in other tables. It should look something like the image below with lots of tables that you can join. If you can't see any tables please make sure you are using a laptop or desktop computer and the latest version of the Chrome web browser.

Screenshot of an example session

Q12: How many people can be in a virtual table?

Each virtual table can accommodate up to eight people at a time.

Q13: What if I get disconnected?

Please make sure you are not using the same link on multiple devices simultaneously. Close multiple sessions and try refreshing your browser.

Q14: As a participant, I am unable to see or hear anything!

Please refresh your browser. If the error persists, you can try to relaunch the browser and try in incognito mode. If you have installed plugins of other conferencing applications, please disable that or close the application.

Q15: Can attendees restrict/remove other attendees from the session?

No, attendees cannot restrict/remove other attendees from the session. Only a host has these rights.

If you have any questions for exhibitors please contact them directly – details will be in their Exhibitor Booth.

Resources, Information and Guidance

Some very good websites now exist to help you with your career choice. These provide information on career choice; on the local labour market, including interviews with local employers; on opportunities for education and training; details of job and apprenticeship vacancies and support with making applications and preparing for interviews. Here is a selection of suitable websites that you may wish to have a look at:

Need Some More Help? If you are unsure whether an apprenticeship is right for you and you’d like some support about your options after school or college, we are running 1-2-1 information and guidance sessions.

Contact Us

Email: hello@odileeds.org

Website: employmentskillsleeds.co.uk

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