NORTH-East firms and organisations at the forefront of ingenious technology will help inspire young people to consider engineering and scientific careers next month.

The annual Foundation for Jobs Low Carbon Engineering Event has been rebranded the Ingenious Engineering event and will offer Year Nine students from schools across Darlington the opportunity to take part in practical sessions which increase their insight into the variety of roles available in engineering.

Now in its fourth year the event is expected to involve nine companies and organisations inspiring 160 pupils from eight schools, who will have the opportunity to take part in tasks related to electric vehicles, computer aided design, robotics, subsea engineering, smart materials and wind turbines, amongst others.

The event, which will once again be hosted by eco-friendly business park Lingfield Point, aims to inspire young people on the cusp of choosing their GCSE options, to consider the importance of STEM subjects to potential careers.

It also aims to challenge their perception of what engineering is and what engineers do, inspiring interest in a sector that is vital to the North-East economy but is facing impending skills gaps with thousands of workers due to retire.

A Foundation for Jobs spokesman said: “More than anything it is vital we challenge young people’s perception of an industry sector which is vital to the North-East economy, is facing skills gaps but which many are shying away from because of their perceptions of what is involved.

“Engineering requires a vast range of skills and abilities and this is the message we are aiming to get across to the young people.

“These are exciting times for engineering in the North-East. Just last week we saw the Hitachi Rail plant open at Newton Aycliffe and the £100m investment by Nissan in its Sunderland plant.

“It is so important that our young people are able to understand and seize the opportunities that this sector offers.

“We could not do this without the fantastic support we get from our business community and we are extremely grateful to Lingfield Point for hosting us and to the engineering firms and organisations involved.”

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 has also enjoyed support from businesses and industrialists across the whole North-East region.

It has worked with around 5,000 young people since it was launched in January 2012.

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