Sunderland car giant Nissan aims to inspire young talent

WORKING TOGETHER: Nissan plant HR director Adrian Smart with Louise Pharoah (left) and Danika Lee Scott.
WORKING TOGETHER: Nissan plant HR director Adrian Smart with Louise Pharoah (left) and Danika Lee Scott.
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NISSAN is going back to school.

The car giant has announced a major expansion of its work with schools, using electric vehicles, motorsports and manufacturing to excite thousands of young people about careers in industry.

A range of workshops, competitions, practical activities and facility tours will see more than 15,000 students given an insight into the motor industry over the next two years, under the umbrella of the Nissan Skills Foundation.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice-president for manufacturing at the firm’s Sunderland plant, said: “The Nissan Skills Foundation has been created to inspire the next generation of British design, engineering, and manufacturing talent.

“There are many elements of this wider programme, which will be the focus of our community activity in North East England and will excite many thousands of young people about science and engineering.”

New initiatives include sponsorship of F1 in Schools, a competition bringing the thrill of Formula 1 racing into classrooms across the North East, Industrial Cadets plus the Nissan Blue Citizenship programmes Eco School and Monozukuri Caravan, a hands-on, interactive workshop celebrating the Japanese “art of making things”.

Nissan is again supporting the Government’s See Inside Manufacturing programme by opening its doors to give young people a unique behind-the-scenes insight into its UK operations.

Adrian Smart, human resources director at the Sunderland Plant, said: “There is also a serious message behind all these activities for children, parents and teachers.

“Whether it is the opportunity to travel the world to visit plants in Japan, North America or Russia, commission a new fleet of robots or drive home the new car that you’ve been responsible for building, manufacturing and engineering offer long-term and inspiring careers.”

The Nissan Skills Foundation will have a dedicated team based at the Sunderland Plant who will be able to support schools by explaining the careers available in manufacturing, and the different activities available for schools to access.

Teachers can get more information by contacting Heather Corrigan via email, at or on 415 2035.