YOUNG job hunters are being urged to visit an Apprentice Fair to find a rewarding career.

Businesses are also invited to take a free stand at the fair at Weymouth College on Friday, March 28.

The Dorset Echo-backed event, to be held between 1.30pm and 5pm, will see hundreds of firms from a wide range of industries searching for raw rec-ruits with real potential.

Local firms can find out more about taking an apprentices on and the benefits it will bring to their business. South Dorset MP Richard Drax, pictured, is one of the driving forces behind the fair.

He said: “We want to show young people that there’s another alternative to going to university.

The fair will feature a free employer exhibition area, where young people will be able to talk to a range of apprenticeship providers.

Running alongside the fair is a speaking event where local employers will get the chance to learn more about the benefits of hiring an apprentice.

Lord Digby Jones, business ambassador at UK Trade & Investment, will be speaking at the fair along with a representative from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Lord Jones, the former director general of the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI), will be telling business people how employing an apprentice can help improve their bottom line and increase productivity.

Guests will also hear from two panels, one consisting of current employers and one consisting of current apprentices.

Mr Drax said: “I hope hundreds of people will attend, get inspired and go home thinking ‘I never thought I would consider being an engineer, but that’s an idea,’” he said.

The employer exhibition is open to all interested young people and is free to attend.

If you are an employer and you would like to attend the fair or if you are interested in exhibiting (free of charge), contact Patricia Bradshaw at Weymouth College at or call 01305 208801.