Welcome to the world of work

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HUNDREDS of Sunderland students have been given an insight into the world of work.

The city’s first Work Discovery Week kicked off at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

As part of the Work Discovery Week at the Stadium of Light, pupils from schools across Wearside had the opportunity to learn about skills in the workplace. Here, a group were finding out about different types of fire extinguisher.

As part of the Work Discovery Week at the Stadium of Light, pupils from schools across Wearside had the opportunity to learn about skills in the workplace. Here, a group were finding out about different types of fire extinguisher.

A job interview fashion parade was followed by the chance to talk to businesses and get hands-on experience with the likes of Nissan and Caterpillar.

Northumbrian Water chief executive Heidi Mottram told the youngsters from schools across the city: “Doing the job is not enough, people expect you to do that little bit more.

“If you have a positive attitude, a can-do attitude, people will recognise that. If you have the motivation to try to make things better, people will recognise that.”

The week is an initiative from Sunderland’s Economic Masterplan – Business:Schools Task Group, who recognised the need to forge stronger links between companies across the region and school pupils in Sunderland.

North East Chamber of Commerce, Sunderland City Council and SAFC are the main partners for the event, with sponsorship from leading companies and organsations including Gentoo, Grundfos, Sunderland University, Sunderland College, Nissan, The National Apprentice Service and Arriva.

SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson is co-chairman of the task group. He said: “Work Discovery Week has just got under way and is already proving to be a huge success, with more than 20 schools and 40 businesses taking part,” he said.

City council cabinet secretary Coun Mel Speding said: “This is very much a hands-on opportunity to give about 1,500 kids a chance to help decide their future. The pupils in the stadium today represent the future prosperity of this city.”

Fourteen-year-old Washington School pupils Lara Whittle, Jessica French and Adam Smith were among those taking part.

Lara has her heart set on working as a special-needs teacher, while Jessica wants to be a vet and Adam an engineer.

“It has been very helpful in terms of what I need to do for my career,” said Lara, while Jessica said: “It has helped me be even more certain about what I want to do.”

Adam had had a useful day, too: “It has helped me to understand what I need to do and how hard I have to work,” he said.