North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll told hundreds of young people moving into work, apprenticeships or further education: “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”

In a keynote speech Mayor Driscoll, the UK’s newest Metro Mayor, told students to be brave about the first steps in their career. He was speaking at Skills North East, the region’s largest skills careers and apprenticeship fair, in the Utilita Arena in Newcastle. Exhibitors at the event included local and national employers, education providers, and training providers.

Mayor Driscoll said Skills North East could help young people shape their future. He said: “If you don’t know what you want to do don’t worry about it: I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do when I grow up. It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are. You have all this weight of expectation on you, saying you must decide now. Don’t worry too much about that.

“Most people if you ask them, when they are older will say ‘I wish I had been a bit braver when I was younger; I wish I had gone for the thing I really wanted to do’. The only thing that really constrains you is that expectation. Do work that you believe in. It’s not the job that matters; it’s how you treat it, and it’s how you treat other people and how you treat yourself. You will be at your most productive when you’re happy; when you believe that what you’re doing has a purpose, because it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”

For more information or to attend the event, please visit:

Skills North East poster with text about careers for 14-24 year olds and image of two school children in blue and yellow uniforms - one wearing a VR headset and the other talking to a man at an expo

Skills North East drew visitors from all over the North East. Through interactive, hands-on activities and demonstrations, it aimed to help young people experience different jobs, and bridge the gap between what they enjoyed doing and what they could potentially do as a career. Skills North East is the region’s largest careers, jobs, skills and apprenticeship event taking place on 17 & 18 September 2019 at Utilita Arena.


The event is aimed at 14 to 19-year-olds and their key influencers; teachers, parents and carers and provides a fantastic opportunity to discover a range of career paths, traineeships, apprenticeships and higher education options under one roof.

Top exhibitors included Cyber Discovery, Energi Coast, Gateshead College, Health Education England, JTL, Learning Curve Group, Maritime UK, Newcastle College, North East Futures UTC, North East Rood Training Group, Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water, PwC LLP, SAE Institute UK, Specsavers, Sunderland College, Teesside University, The University of Law, University of Sunderland and many more.