A NORTH-EAST company has delivered its first classroom mentoring session designed to inspire young people’s workplace ambitions.

As the UK faces a skills shortage across many industries, Mentoring Professional Ltd aims to encourage 11 to 16 year-olds to raise their aspirations and explore further education and training in an effort to increase their opportunities, and broadening the country’s future skilled workforce.

The Sunderland company delivers progression and engagement workshops to schools and colleges across the North-East, and completed its first contract with High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool, receiving positive feedback.

Launched at Sunderland University’s Enterprise Place by academic Philip King, the company currently employs 50 industry professionals, who, having completed training provided by the company’s training team are able to deliver workshops directly to pupils.

Each workshop relates to the respective professional and is designed to promote engagement, employability and enthusiasm for learning. By sharing their knowledge with pupils and applying it to the National Curriculum, they offer an insight into industry.

At Hartlepool a total of 52 pupils completed three workshops in leadership and change, public health and civil engineering.

Assistant headteacher Mrs Laura Ovens said: “Mentoring Professional forced many pupils to think about where they want to be next, about their GCSE choices and how they will achieve their goals in the future.”

One of the Year 9 boys commented: “It was great to see how you can progress in your professional role.”

Mr King, Mentoring Professional managing director and an academic tutor at Sunderland University’s Faculty of Applied Sciences, said: “It was great to engage these young people and leave a lasting impression.

“It’s about giving the students real life examples from experienced professionals currently working in industry.

“Any of the professionals who go into the classroom are increasing motivation and attainment for young people by providing awareness about professional opportunities.

“The communication of transferable skills enables learners to link academic subjects to professional application, promoting retention by bridging the gap between theory and practice.”