A Wearside car parts firm is looking to produce the next generation of workers with a series of events to mark Apprenticeship Week 2017.
As well as launching a state-of-the-art Training Academy during the week, Unipres has organised a host of projects to inspire young people to explore the potential of a career in manufacturing and engineering during the week which starts today.
Unipres, which produces car parts for global giants such as Nissan and Renault, has launched an engineering-themed project with Northern Saints Church ofEngland Primary School, is hosting a careers fair for secondary school pupils and will be using its Industrial Cadets for an event to introduce young people to employment opportunities in engineering.
The Unipres Training Academy will be officially opened by MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson, on Thursday in a ceremony set to be attended by business people and dignitaries.
Plant Operations Director John Cruddace, said: “Apprenticeship Week is such a vital event for highlighting the importance of apprenticeships, not only as a gateway to employment for young people, but for the many benefits they bring to business.
“Engineering and manufacturing firms like ours can’t sit back and expect a line of apprentices to form at our door. We must ensure that we’re engaging with schools and colleges to educate people on the breadth of fulfilling careers on offer, take action to ensure we provide the best training possible and also create pathways for apprentices so they can see a career path within our company.”
The importance of capturing a young person’s imagination at such an early age cannot be underestimated.Rhys Goulden
Unipres apprentice ambassador Rhys Goulden is delivering an engineering project with pupils from Northern Saints Primary School, alongside Teacher Calum Rowland at the new academy.
Pupils will demonstrate finished projects and compete for a place in the Primary Engineer North East Regional finals at the Discovery Museum, in May.
“The importance of capturing a young person’s imagination at such an early age cannot be underestimated,” said Rhys.
“We want people to feel excited by engineering and also experience the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge.
“Working with schools is something we take very seriously and this Primary Engineer project will hopefully win a few hearts and minds and inspire some of the young people, who may well form the future of the Unipres workforce.”
Unipres is also hosting an Industrial Cadets event tomorrow, which will provide secondary school students with an insight to the firm’s Unipres’ work experience week.
Wednesday will see the Training Academy host a careers events with Apprentice Ambassadors North East, offering an opportunity for businesses and would-be apprentices to meet and interact.
The firm will round off its week of activities with the official launch of the Unipres Training Academy.
Maureen Askew, who has been appointed senior controller at the academy, said: “Our aim with this week of activity was to use the platform of Apprenticeship Week to showcase our talented apprentices, demonstrate Unipres’ commitment to future-proofing our business and wider sector and capture the imagination of young people who may become apprentices in the future.”