A FANTASTIC competition has been launched in schools across County Durham to encourage young people to see the county as a vibrant and exciting place for them to live and work in the future.

As part of the ‘My Future is Durham’ campaign, students from years 4, 5 and 6 are being challenged to create imaginative adverts for jobs of the future.

The pupils have been drawing inspiration from a short video they’ve been shown, showcasing three advocates from County Durham who have achieved their dreams and are contributing to the future success of the region. Watch the video here.

The jobs the children create can be as inventive as they want to make them, thinking about what jobs in the future may look like, what companies will need to offer to attract staff, and what skills people will need to do the job.

A shortlist of entries will go up on the Northern Echo website for the public to make the final decision on who they would like to be crowned overall winner.

The winning school will be able to nominate twenty-five lucky pupils to enjoy a visit to the Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe - a centre of engineering excellence in County Durham, and home to LNER’s new Azuma train.

As part of the prize, the children will watch a presentation about Hitachi Rail, the projects they currently build, and the history of Newton Aycliffe.

They will be taken on a factory tour where they will be able to see inside a Class 800 Intercity Express Programme Train, and be able to ask questions on their way round, while getting a full insight in to how the factory works on a day-to-day basis, and how the company is embracing new technologies.

Teachers in County Durham should consult with their headteachers as to how to enter.

Look out for the shortlisted entries on our website and make sure you vote as part of this exciting campaign for local children.