Sunderland pupils’ enter the Dragon’s Den to give their take on business problems

Pupils from St Robert of Newminster RC School in Washington pictured at one of the engineering displays during the Work Discovery event at the Stadium of Light.

Pupils from St Robert of Newminster RC School in Washington pictured at one of the engineering displays during the Work Discovery event at the Stadium of Light.

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PUPILS from schools across Sunderland will showcase their ideas for the future Dragon’s Den-style today.

Students will present their ideas on how to boost the city economy to a panel of experts, on the final day of the region’s first Work Discovery Week.

Teams from 19 schools will face managers, directors and chief executives from some of the region’s top companies, giving their solutions to a range of business problems.

The students chose one of five problems ranging from how to boost tourism in Sunderland to bringing independent retailers and national chains to work together in the city. Their suggestions will be put before a panel who will vote on the best suggestions.

Representatives from WDW main sponsors Nissan, Sunderland College, Grundfos and Gentoo will join experts from Sunderland City Council, Calsonic Kansei, Unipres UK and Sunderland Software City to listen to the presentations and ask some tough questions.

Work Discovery Week is an initiative from Sunderland’s Economic Masterplan – Business:Schools Task Group who recognised the need to forge stronger links between companies and pupils.

North East Chamber of Commerce, Sunderland City Council and SAFC are the main partners for the event, with Sunderland University and The National Apprentice Service also among the main sponsors.

SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson is co-chairman of the task group and is on today’s panel.

“The young people who have been involved have shown huge enthusiasm and we’re expecting to hear some really exciting suggestions,” he said.

City council leader Coun Paul Watson added: “This week has shown us what great young people we have in the city and that they can have a great future.

“With so many positive things happening in Sunderland it will be really interesting to see what the pupils have to say and to hear their ideas.”

Businesses and schools are also being asked to follow the event on twitter @WDWSunderland.