European School of Osteopathy


Thursday 12th July saw the third annual Leigh Academies Trust year 10 Careers Convention. Based upon an industry-type exhibition, over 900 Trust students from Longfield Academy, The Leigh Academy, Wilmington Academy, The Leigh UTC , Strood Academy and Milestone @ The Leigh Academy had the opportunity to visit almost 60 exhibitors to talk about possible future career, training and educational opportunities. Generously hosted by Longfield Academy, exhibitors filled both the Lecture Theatre and Anderson Plaza.


The exhibitors ranged from local and national universities, colleges, training providers, STEM ambassadors and local and national businesses. The Trust was keen that as wide a range of sectors as possible could be represented on the day.

St Hughs College, University of Oxford offer visits to our Leigh Aspire students


As well as our students, there were some additional guests on the day: representatives from The Williamson Trust with whom the Leigh Academies Trust are in merger negotiations. Trust CEO, Simon Beamish, later reported that these guests were impressed by the event. Another valued visitor was David Mead, a most supportive governor from Strood Academy.


It was notable that so many of our exhibitors now work with our academies on a regular basis with the Trust being able to boast such strong business relationships; this might be to provide visits, work experience, projects, mentorship or governance, all much appreciated opportunities for our students and their academies.

Additionally, it was encouraging to see so many alumni return to talk to current students who are where they were only a few years ago.

The Leigh UTC alumni, Will Fifield currently completing a level 3 apprenticeship with Microsoft.

“A great day and a lot of great talks with eager students from all over the Leigh Academies Trust “

Phil Wilson of Inspirational Rhythms spoke with students about not only the life of a professional musician but also of running his own business.

Frontier offer over 300 gap year, adventure travel and volunteering abroad placements worldwide.

Kentec Electronics work with a number of Trust academies and offer work experience opportunities for students interested in engineering careers.

The University of Leicester has offered many outreach opportunities for our students.

Being a first time visitor, Leigh Academies Trust looks forward to further developing a relationship with the Merchant Navy Training Board.

Another first time visitor, Owner Manager, Dave Mckeown of Absolute Fire and Safety was keen to talk to students about his career journey.

“We noted some great communications between us and some select students – some really positive engagement

ADM Computing; careers in computing were a popular stand for students.

Aldi elaborated upon careers in retail management.

General Manager of the Campanile Hotel in Dartford, Eddy Brosse, and his team have previously worked with the Telescope Bistro at Longfield Academy. In this case, Eddy was kind enough to support our convention on his penultimate day at the company and was able to elaborate upon the opportunities for international travel within the hospitality industry as he is on his way to manage a hotel in the far east.

“Thanks for having us – it was a great worthwhile day on our end!”  Lauren Roberts, City & Guilds

Wilmington Academy governor, Darrel Linehan exhibited with his company, My Career Options.

Local nursery, Dimples, talked to students about careers in childcare.

EY, one of the “big four” accounting firms talked to students about careers in professional services.

“The students were polite and engaged, and asked some great questions” – Jemma Askew, Hadlow College

For those with an artistic flair, the British Academy of Jewellery were on hand to advise on relevant training opportunities.

The John Lewis Partnership work closely with The Leigh Academy on business mentoring and also support a number of our academies with work experience.

Current apprentices training at The Leigh UTC exhibited on behalf of their employer, The  Kenard Group.

An important part of careers advice includes labour market information; Kent Police are currently on a major recruitment drive.

Leigh Academy alumni Kelly Purvor exhibited along with her Metrobank colleague.

The Royal Navy

A large team from Kent and Medway NHS were able to discuss the vast range of careers offered within the National Health Service.

Ravensbourne University

Sussex University is a regular trip for a number of our post 16 students.

For the third year running, Weightmans LLP advised students about careers in the legal profession.

Amy Baber (Leigh Academy alumni) and Dan Ketley (Wilmington Academy alumni) exhibited on behalf of their employer, Willmott Dixon.

“Myself and Dan had a great time at the careers event last week, we had a lot of students engaged!” – Amy


Some additional delegate comments were:

“Students were all positive and interested in learning about potential opportunities even if they were unsure of what to choose”  – Greenwich University

“Lovely, polite, smart students.  Those already studying finance with LiBF were keen to hear about our University”  – Sam Godden, The London Institute of Banking and Finance

“It was a great day – see you next year!” –  NCS


Students were tasked with visiting at least three stands where they could have a card stamped to enter a competition to win Bluewater vouchers. Pictured making the draw are Ruth Evans, LAT Career Learning Development Manager and Julia Baldwin, Receptionist at Longfield Academy.


Congratulations to the following winning students:


1st Connor Jones, Longfield Academy

2nd Mckenzie Dyer, Longfield Academy

3rd Adalia Melvin, Leigh Academy

Student comment on the day included-

“It was really helpful. I want to do an apprenticeship so have been given lots of websites to look at.”

“It helps to know what you need to do to get the job you want”

“I feel as though it has really helped me to plan for my future”

“It gave me a real sense of direction of the fields I may be interested in and what’s available”


Provisionally, the date of Thursday 11th July has been set for next years convention.

Thank you to our academies and exhibitors for working together to provide such an informative day for students.