It’s a hat-trick! Pupils net award for school for third year running

John Whitfield of day sponsor, Calsonic Kansei with the winning team from St Robert of Newminster School. Picture: DAVID WOOD
John Whitfield of day sponsor, Calsonic Kansei with the winning team from St Robert of Newminster School. Picture: DAVID WOOD
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They’ve done it again! Enterprising students from a Wearside school have won a business award for the third year in a row.

Washington’s St Robert of Newminster Catholic School devised a plan for the annual Work Discovery Week Business Problem Solving Challenge.

Every one of the ideas was brilliantly thought out and gave the panel a really tough time in choosing a winner.

John Whitfield

Secondary schools put their ideas to a panel of business experts, made up of representatives from many of the Work Discovery Week’s sponsors.

The entries covered everything from a culinary bus to a candle making scheme, along with an app showcasing opportunities in volunteering to futuristic jet boots.

The St Robert’s winning project was a scheme to help young people interact with businesses and discover the qualifications and skills needed in specific sectors.

Farringdon Community Academy took the runner-up prize for its money-saving football boot which could interchange studs and blades.

To take part, students had to give a short presentation at the Stadium of Light and take questions from the panel.

John Whitfield, of day sponsor Calsonic Kansei, said: “Every one of the ideas was brilliantly thought out and gave the panel a really tough time in choosing a winner.

“I don’t doubt for one minute that some of these projects really could become viable and we all look forward to seeing them moving forward.

“It’s hard enough to present in front of an audience and add that to having to answer questions from a panel, the young people proved they are absolutely remarkable.”

The Problem Solving Challenge was held on the final day of a packed Work Discovery Week. MAKE It Sunderland, Sunderland College, The University of Sunderland, The Bridges, Sunderland BID, Accenture, Gentoo and the North East LEP joined day sponsor Calsonic Kansei to hear the pitches and decide on a winner.

The week opened at the Stadium of Light with around 1,000 young people taking part in a range of activities. Students also visited businesses and got involved in a retail sector day in the Bridges.

Plans are now underway for next year’s event from June 25 to June 29.