A new Online Careers Fair concept has been announced today, designed to help colleges and employers connect with young people as they embark on their careers.

The first ever Online Careers Fair in Further Education is open to all colleges in the East of England and is the brainchild of the 157 Group. The Fair is being run in conjunction with ACER (Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region), and supported by the 157 Group. With more than one million young people in the UK not in education, employment or training (NEET), the initiative aims to support the Government’s agenda to help more young people get a foot on the career ladder.

The Online Careers Fair will officially “go live” at 9am on 1 October 2013 and will run for two weeks until 14 October.  It will be open round the clock throughout this period – one of the key attributes of the Fair – in efforts to encourage visitors otherwise limited by travelling, working hours or other commitments.

Seventy-four per cent of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK own a smart phone and 75 per cent watch TV on their laptops, according to the Youth Marketing Conference (2012), while 98 per cent of UK 18 to 24 year olds use social media (Statistic Brain, 2012). Capitalising on these trends, The Online Careers Fair will use innovative technology in a way young people can identify with, enabling them to share information and ideas socially with friends.

Christine Doubleday, Deputy Executive Director of the 157 Group says: “The Online Careers Fair is a ground-breaking initiative, responding to young people’s needs to improve their access to information on Further Education and supporting them in becoming more employable.  The Online Careers Fair will inspire visitors to create their own career success.”

Andrew Thomson, CEO of ACER says: “Our goal is that The Online Careers Fair will not only help visitors find college courses and jobs, but also inspire and support them in the process, through information, advice and guidance, e-workshops, webcasts and case studies.” has been commissioned to design, build and manage The Online Careers Fair, in addition to marketing the event to its extensive network of employers and jobseekers. Through working in collaboration with the 157 Group and ACER, Monster has created an environment that will allow young people to easily connect with local colleges and employers to access careers advice and content.

Alica Morgan, Business Development Manager of Monster Government Solutions says: “Monster has a wealth of knowledge and experience in creating online careers fairs and websites so we knew we could add value in supporting this innovative and valuable event. The Online Careers Fair has been created to look and feel like a 3D “virtual” world.  Each college and employer has a stand and visitors will have the freedom to explore The Online Careers Fair as though they are walking through an actual exhibition hall.”

Other benefits for colleges include the chance to recruit new students, support alumni in finding work placements and progress onto graduate programmes.  Colleges interested in taking part should contact ACER (01480 468198).