PUPILS set to make important career choices were given first-hand insight into automotive industry life on a visit to a leading car dealership.

Eleven pupils from Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS) visited Sherwoods' Vauxhall dealership, in Darlington, to hear about the range of careers available in the industry.

They spent time alongside mechanics and vehicle technicians, as well as hearing about opportunities in a range of roles, from sales, bodyshop and marketing through to accountancy that firms such as Sherwoods offer.

The visit was organised by the national award-winning Foundation for Jobs in partnership with the company’s managing director Alasdair MacConachie, who started the day by chatting to the pupils about their career aspirations.

In September, the pupils taking part in the visit will all enter their final year at secondary school before their GCSE exams next summer.

It was part of an ongoing series of work taster visits to different industry sectors organised by Foundation for Jobs, which are aimed at both challenging young people’s perceptions of the range of jobs available in different sectors and also inspiring them to consider those industries for their future careers.

Pupil Carl Younghusband, 15, said: “It helped me decide on my career path and I now want to do an apprenticeship there.

“I learnt about what a mechanic does and the people there were really friendly and helpful.”

Ryan Watt, 14, said: “It was good, we got put with one of the technicians.

"He was servicing a car and explained what he was doing and how long it would take.”

Rebecca Smith, aged 15, added: “It was more interesting than we thought it would be.”

Councillor Chris McEwan, chairman of Foundation for Jobs, said: “A key aim of the project is to work with industry to match young peoples’ aspirations with the North-East employment market through a programme of inspiring practical activities.

“These visits help to give them an introduction to the daily requirements of these jobs and assist them in making informed decisions as well as providing a greater understanding of the importance of picking the right training or courses.

“I would also like to say a huge thanks to Sherwoods for hosting the visits and their continuing support of Foundation for Jobs.”

Foundation for Jobs is a partnership involving The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership of public and private sector organisations and has worked with 5,000 young people aged between 10 and 24 since its launch in 2012.

For further details on Foundation for Jobs contact Owen McAteer at owen.mcateer@darlington.gov.uk