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Next Steps Career Fair to support residents with fairer access to employment and development opportunities

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Kingston Council is hosting a careers fair focused on employment and skills support for people living with disabilities and those who are carers, migrants, refugees and armed forces veterans.

Organised in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus and local partners,  the Next Steps Career Fair will take place on 30 November. It will showcase the depth of local support available for those most in need. 

The event is part of Kingston Council’s commitment to tackling exclusion, reducing inequality, and supporting marginalised groups. The council is working to support residents and businesses through the economic crisis by providing opportunities to grow skills, facilitate training, and increase both business growth and employment opportunities

Residents attending the event will be able to access advice on careers, in-work progression, wellbeing support and applying for reasonable adjustments in the workplace. A range of support will also be available on topics such as numeracy, budgeting and financial skills, as well as support to understand advice and guidance on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

Councillor Alison Holt, Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development & Leisure, said:

“Initiatives like the Next Steps Career Fair are part of our strategy to tackle inequality and exclusion, and support those most in need. We understand that removing barriers to employment, empowering our residents to make changes to their lives and creating opportunities for them to succeed is essential to enable people to recover from the Cost of Living crisis. 


“We work closely with partners across the borough to deliver skills, training and employment opportunities, as well as to support business growth.”

Tickets for the Next Steps Career Fair can be booked here.

Kingston Council works closely with partners to offer programmes of practical support for residents. This includes support such as Stay Nimble’s  expert coaching career support and Launchpad: Green Jobs, which enables people to take their first steps into a job that addresses the climate emergency.

For residents who want to upskill, Kingston Adult Education (KAE) provides a range of courses, many of which are free. There are programmes for people with learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as courses that address practical skills to get the most out of work and everyday life. 

The council is also working to make Kingston fairer for local businesses and recognises the vital role they play in growing and improving the borough’s economy. 

It has recently introduced the Go Business Support programme, which has two pathways of support. The Go Start-Ups Programme helps aspiring entrepreneurs with getting their business off the ground, while the  Go Growth Programme supports existing businesses to drive growth and build capacity. The programmes are fully funded by Kingston Council, the Mayor of London and the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund. They will be delivered by Kingston Chamber of Commerce from 31 January 2024.

Alongside supporting local businesses, the council also prioritises being a fairer employer itself. It has been accredited by the Good Business Charter since 2021 and has London Living Wage accreditation. As well as paying London Living Wage to its own employees, over 300 council suppliers currently pay London Living Wage, with more than 10,000 contracted staff benefiting from fairer pay every month. 

Published: 1st November 2023