MORE than 2,000 young people met potential employers and education and training providers at a special event at Blackburn's King George's Hall on Wednesday.

The 2023 'Blackburn’s Inspiring' fair hosted 65 exhibitors (including the University of Lancaster, Blackburn College, EG Group, BAE Systems, Lancashire Constabulary, Herbert Parkinson and Daniel Thwaites).

Almost 2,200 young people attended the sixth version of the event previously knows as 'Blackburn is Hiring.

Organisers, New Directions, expanded the event over two floors this year to allow more space for exhibitors and for the increasing number of visitors

It aims to inform and inspire young people of the options available once they leave school.

It also provides opportunity for some ‘hands on’ activities.

Although the primary focus is on young people aged 14 to 16, there is also information for those attending sixth form, FE college and for those who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training) in Blackburn with Darwen.

It is also an opportunity for local businesses to meet with their potential employees and to inform young people of the skills they look for.

Cllr Julie Gunn, the Blackburn with Darwen Council's education boss, said: "It's been wonderful to see all the young people engaging with the employers and further education providers here."

The authority's leader Cllr Phil Riley said: "Blackburn is inspiring is an important annual event that not only inspires our young people with what is available to them in the borough (and beyond), but showcases the brilliant businesses that are vital to our local economy.

!The event aims to raise the aspirations of young people through conversation with providers and employers."