Children hold key to manufacturing

driving lesson: Pupils from St Aidan's on the production line at Nissan.
driving lesson: Pupils from St Aidan's on the production line at Nissan.
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SCHOOLCHILDREN swapped the classroom for a course in making cars at Nissan.

Pupils from St Aidan’s School in Sunderland were welcomed into the city’s car plant as part of the Government’s See Inside Manufacturing initiative.

Events are taking place across the UK’s car manufacturing industry to help boost the image of manufacturing and encourage young people to take science, maths, technology and engineering subjects.

The scheme is targeting schoolchildren before they choose their GCSE subjects.

The St Aidan’s pupils were given a tour of the Qashqai production line and were given the task of designing their own electric car. They also took part in team-building exercises.

Richard Ebrahim, Nissan Sunderland plant engineering director, said: “Nearly everything that we use in our daily lives involves an engineer – whether it’s designing, building or testing.

“British engineers are behind some of the world’s most iconic inventions and Nissan is very proud of the contribution that our engineers have made to this tradition, with their innovation, excellence and a ‘can-do, will-do’ attitude.”

About 2,500 students aged between 11 and 13 will take part in the Nissan Schools’ Engineering Discovery Event which will run over two weeks.

Pupils will be given a crash course in modern manufacturing where they will watch the Qashqai, Juke and Note being made on the production line.

They will take part in educational games as well as find out how engineers have supported and improved the manufacturing process at the plant over its 25-year history.

Richard added: “We want to inspire students who are considering which GCSE subjects to choose, by showing them that a career in engineering and advanced manufacturing is a diverse, exciting and rewarding choice.”

The event also includes a section on future production at the company’s new advanced lithium-ion battery plant and the Nissan Leaf electric car that will be produced at the Wearside factory from 2013.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “We are determined to shake-up views of manufacturing.

“Through the Government’s campaign and Nissan’s event at Sunderland, we are giving young people the chance to see the exciting face of modern manufacturing which is highly-skilled, high-tech and highly-paid.”

Schools interested in taking part in next year’s event should contact Dawn Waugh on 415 2764 or email

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