SCHOOL-AGE engineers have been given an introduction to the industry by a world-leading firm.

The pupils, who begin their final year at Haughton Academy in September, visited Amec’s North-East Engineering Centre, in Darlington.

The young people are all taking a BTEC in engineering as part of their studies and a large percentage intend to pursue careers in the sector, either through apprenticeships or graduate routes.

With the Lingfield Pointbased Amec offices heavily involved in engineering design projects the students were set a task of designing a system to link a terminal and fuel station, using the recognised professional engineering symbols.

They were also told about the different types of roles they could consider from mechanical and architectural to piping engineer, as well as the career routes available to them to enter the industry.

Amec is one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies, employing around 27,000 people in 40 countries, ranging from scientists and environmental consultants to engineers and project managers.

A Foundation for Jobs spokesman said: “We really appreciate the support given to us by Amec.

“Having the firm’s staff provide first-hand knowledge to these young people, all of who are seriously considering an engineering career, plays a vital part in informing them of their options for that vital next step, just a year before they take it.

“We need to ensure our young people consider careers in industries and business sectors which are vital to the North-East economy such as engineering.

“We would be unable to do that effectively without companies like Amec and their staff giving up their time to support this.”

Engineering is facing skills shortages with around 8,500 workers due to retire from engineering and manufacturing roles in the region by 2016.

A key aim of Foundation for Jobs is to encourage young people to look at opportunities in sectors such as engineering, which are expected to be major creators of jobs in the North-East.

Now a national award-winning project, Foundation for Jobs is a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment involving The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations, which also enjoyed support from businesses across the whole North-East.

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