Nissan opens doors to next generation of engineers

Students Charlie Houlden, Erin Todd and Natalie Edge (from left) combine their skills to build model cars.
Students Charlie Houlden, Erin Todd and Natalie Edge (from left) combine their skills to build model cars.
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Sunderland’s Nissan plant has thrown its door open to the next generation of engineers.

Sixteen students spent a week developing their engineering knowledge and expanding their team-building skills as industrial cadets at the factory.

The youngsters were split into two groups, which competed against each other throughout the week, to construct mini cars in the quickest time possible, set up an assembly line, carrying out production trials and putting lean manufacturing tools and techniques into practice.

They also got to experience the Nissan training facilities, where Nissan new starters and training supervisors are taught and developed.

Nissan’s Martin Abele, said: “It’s a great course for young people interested in engineering and manufacturing, because it shows them the importance of a whole range of things, from getting the technical design right to quality assurance, efficiency, speed and communication with your colleagues.

“The week has shown them how important it is to constantly strive to improve what you are doing, because the smallest of tweaks could make a massive difference to what you are producing.”

The week was organised as part of the Nissan Skills Foundation, which sees the company engage with schools across the region.

Student Charlie Houlden, 15, from Sunderland, was one of the pupils from the new Discovery School in Newcastle who took part: “It’s been a great week,” he said. “More then anything I have learned how important it is to work as a team to get good results.

“Just being at Nissan has been excellent. I would love to work here when I finish studying.”

Nissan trainer Robert Scott said the industrial cadetship helped to prepare young people for the world of work. He said: “We treat students like we treat employees, so they have to come here with a professional manner and with a willingness to work hard.

“We expect the highest standards. The students from Discovery School have been a privilege to teach.”

Discovery School principal Wendy Allen, said: “We work closely with businesses to ensure our students are gaining relevant qualifications and experience, to prepare them for the world of work.”