Mears brought together local businesses and organisations to showcase employment and training opportunities at the annual Local Employment Advisory Forum (LEAF) event in Rotherham.Over 1,429 students and jobseekers attended the LEAF event, held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre. The event brought together 65 local businesses and organisations with over 500 current vacancies to showcase employment and training opportunities in the area, as well as providing advice on how to gain the skills needed by employers.Exhibitors ranged from Ikea and Aldi with vacancies in retail and warehousing, Mears with opportunities in construction and care, and recruiters for the gaming industry Aardvark Swift. Other sectors represented included manufacturing, food manufacturing, health, hospitality, childcare, laboratory testing and business services.Councillor Denise Lelloitt, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Local Economy, said, “Rotherham Council is pleased to be part of such a successful and expanding event. Each year more organisations exhibit and each year more people attend. The feedback from the businesses has been positive and many have already signed up for the 2017 event. The partnership working between the Council, Mears and Job Centre Plus is strong and ensures many different job seekers and students are engaged throughout the day leading to potential employment and/or valuable career advice.”Sarah Sykes, Careers Adviser, Aston Academy, said, “Our students really enjoyed attending the LEAF event and found it beneficial. One of our students was able to find out more about the NHS and Rotherham College health apprenticeships. She had the opportunity to talk to staff from both organisations and she was really buzzing about it afterwards.“At one point the student and I talked to an employer together and the student was thrilled to get positive feedback about her demeanour from the employer. When we returned to school she was motivated to complete her UCAS Progress application form and as she had found out the information at the event she was able to apply for the relevant course and apprenticeship opportunities. Other students have commented that it was good for them to meet new people and have the opportunity to find out more about opportunities for them after 16 years.”Diane Keay, Customer and Community Manager at Mears, said, “Following the success of last year’s event, we are pleased to once again host the LEAF event along with our partners in Rotherham. Mears has always supported local employment initiatives, and this event provides a forum for local people to find out more about training and career opportunities.”The all-day event was sponsored by Mears and Rotherham Council, delivered in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, with event patrons; Phoenix Enterprises, Ways to Work, Xtol Development Services, Engage Training and Barnsley College.