Another successful day for Inspiring the Forest

 Inspiring the Forest Logo Smaller Size v2

 Friday 30th June 2023 saw the Forest Economic Partnership hold our second Inspiring the Forest event at Gloucestershire College’s lakeside Cinderford campus. It was our second event held as part of our ground breaking initiative to raise young people’s aspirations in the Forest of Dean, the first taking place in November 2022.  

The FEP aim’s to showcase the talent and huge variety of industries we have right here in the Forest of Dean, building bridges between local students and employers.

Research says if you can’t see it, you can’t be it – we want to show students there is so much more to the Forest of Dean and they don’t need to travel outside the county for some incredible opportunities.

We had an excellent turnout from schools and exhibitors alike, approx. 718 students from 5 schools and 20 local employers all attended to support the event. We had 5 different ‘Zones’: Manufacturing & Engineering, Communication & Media, Hospitality & Tourism, Health & Wellbeing, and Digital & Cyber. From the Speech House, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Dean Radio, to Newspace Engineering, there really was something for everyone.

We were also joined by Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper, Cllr Phillip Robinson of Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Graham Morgan Chairman of Cinderford Town Council, Cllr Di Martin Chair of Forest of Dean District Council, and Cllr Darren Flower of Cinderford Town Council.

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Mark Harper MP, said: “Companies large and small in the Forest of Dean often struggle to get talented people with the right skills. Opportunities like today’s event organised by the Forest Economic Partnership with different companies coming together is brilliant if they want to hire young, talented local people”.

 Neill Ricketts, chair of the Forest Economic Partnership, commented: “This is the second Inspiring the Forest event we have staged and it has been a really wholesome experience to see these students listening and learning from people’s career journeys at the companies supporting us.” “One of the challenges we have in the Forest is that unless your family have links to local employers, a young person may not know what good career opportunities are here right on their doorstep"


Feedback from the students have been overwhelmingly positive and highlights the need for events like Inspiring the Forest, here's what students had to say. 

“I have become more confident in what jobs are offered in a range of different sectors.”

“It helped me engage more with different activities that I would not usually associated myself with.

“I learned how to ask questions confidently in order to learn about jobs”

The most important thing they learnt was...

“What is offered for courses and apprenticeships, also how apprenticeships work”

“I learnt about local colleges and different career options/paths”

“That there are so many different job opportunities that can be done and the fact that even if you don't like your job you can change.”

“How many career options there are in Gloucester”

Huge thank you to Newspace Engineering, Suntory, BASF Metals Recycling, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Dean Radio, David Broadbent Photography, The Civil Service, Raytheon, Digibus, GlosCol Digital and Cyber Apprenticeships, CACI IIG, Cyber Security Associates, Visit Dean Wye, The Music Works, Hartpury University and College, Gloucester Engineering Training, AccXel Construction Centre, Publica Apprenticeships. If you’d like more information on future Inspiring the Forest events or any of the companies above, please email


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To browse our full gallery of photos from the day, click here.