Brentwood College became a teeming exhibition centre on Tuesday when nearly 500 local schoolchildren converged on it for Brentwood Youth Employment Committee’s area Careers Convention.
They were staging it for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday for a total of 1.600 children – some from further afield in Ongar and Grays.
Lit up, switched on, whirring and clattering – there were lots of mechanical gimmicks to whet the appetites of the 15, 16 and 17-years-olds, career-wise.
Hornchurch College of Further Education brought along two tanks of live locusts – they are used for dissection and experimental purposes in the science department.
The career hunters were able to talk to each other by telephone on a miniature exchange put in by the GPO, in the main hall of the college – nerve centre of the exhibition.
It had undergone an overnight change to become an Olympia for two days.
Sixty firms, institutes, the armed forces and public services supplied stands, advisers and pamphlets… scores of them.
The entrance hall to the college became a careers library. Brentwood Youth Employment Committee made their own booklets available there and Essex County Library Service put on a display of 200 books for the vocation seeker.
Upstairs there were the convention rooms where lecture were in progress and where request of a range of more than 20 films were being shown.
On Tuesday the top two films were one about banking – in demand by the boys, and A Sense of Belonging – on child are for the girls.
In ”…” the staff room, a mass of publicity about London’s new Post Office Tower and putting over “…” the scope in becoming a structural engineer.
Architecture and town planning were popular with them. Many of the gins were attracted by Warley Hospital’s stand where student nurses Susan Hitchen, 18, and Hilary”…” 18, were there to tell them all about their work.
Hilary told the Review: “Explaining our work is very satisfying. There is so much that you can do after training – travel abroad or go into private nursing. Most people have the wrong impression of nursing – we could do with more money but we are not necessarily underpaid drudges.”
Nearby Brentwood School boys of Parkstone Quay – British Rail’s cross-channel wharf primarily designed for the new Freightliner service.
The children were well briefed to make the most of the 1 ½ hours they each had at the convention. But they were given a free rein to go where they wanted to and were able to identify organisers and officials by the special coloured disc they were wearing.
At Brentwood Council’s stand Mr. Maurice Burgess, the principal assistant of engineering and main drainage, canvassed for recruits to the council’s public health department.
He had a miniature percolating filter of the circular type found at a water works, while the water from an aquarium of goldfish was utilised for purification.
How many “A” levels do I need? What training will I get? There were plenty of people to answer the pressing questions.
Chief organiser of the convention, Brentwood’s Assistant Youth Officer Miss J. Richardson said: “It has gone very well – we have had some very favourable comments about it.
“The convention has been put on with no expense to the Education Committee – there have been voluntary donations from schools and from local industry – they have been very generous.
“We will probably organise the convention in future only about every three years because we want the schools to carry on with their own plans and keep their individuality.”