An employment and training fair held by The Barnet Group drew record crowds as more than 300 people came to find out about opportunities on offer.

Residents were able to talk to potential employers about careers, job vacancies, training courses and apprenticeships, at the event at The Sangam Centre in Edgware on Wednesday 13 June.

It was the fourth year in which Barnet Homes – now part of local authority trading company The Barnet Group – has offered an employment event to its residents as part of its ‘Feeling the Squeeze?’ campaign to help people through the economic downturn.

This time it worked with a range of local housing associations and organisations. These included Barnet Homes’ own contractors, the Metropolitan Police and the Fire Brigade, as well as large private sector employers such as Tesco.

The event was also open to Genesis and Network Housing tenants, as well as service users of Barnet Homes’ new sister adult social care company, Your Choice Barnet, and their family members and carers.

Apprentices who have been receiving on the job training at Barnet Homes over the past year talked about their experiences to residents interested in similar opportunities arising later this summer.

There was a second session in the afternoon specifically designed for 16-25 year-olds looking for work or undecided about a career path.

The Barnet Group’s Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, said: “The people we serve tend to be disadvantaged in the jobs market. We want to do all we can to support them during the economic downturn so that they are given every chance of finding training or employment, particularly in view of the government’s welfare reform programme.

“We’re increasing our offer to residents year on year through our ‘Feeling the Squeeze?’ campaign. We’re about to start the second round of our apprenticeship programme and are offering more work experience opportunities than ever before at The Barnet Group. Our contractors are also doing a great job in recruiting a local workforce and offering a large number of apprenticeships.

“I’d like to thank all of the other housing associations and local employers who joined us at the employment fair. I hope that together we’ll be able to give the people who attended the best possible chance of finding long-term work.”

Barnet Homes will next be holding an Apprenticeship Fair exclusively for its residents on the evening of Wednesday 11 July from 6pm to 8pm in Committee Room 1, Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, N20 0EJ.