Hundreds of students pack into Stadium of Light as Sunderland's Work Discovery Week gets off to a musical start
Sunderland's Work Discovery Week hit the right note with hundreds of youngsters.
The innovative programme, which aims to give school pupils a real taste of a vast range of possible occupations, kicked off with a massive launch event at the Stadium of Light.
This year’s event had a new musical flavour, with a performance by Bristol-based Beyond Recall.
The band has been acclaimed for the positive messages its music portrays and its dedication to covering topics such as on-line safety, discrimination and suicide in young people.
Work Discovery Week will see more than a thousand pupils from across the city involved in a range of activities, from hand-on practical demonstrations to industry visits, interview techniques and employability workshops, culminating in the annual business problem solving challenge.
The launch events says a careers fair and students able to take part in a variety of workshops as well as getting hands-on experience with some of the region’s biggest employers.
Work Discovery Week is now in its sixth year and is supported by key sponsors including the University of Sunderland, MAKE It Sunderland and Sunderland College, along with Nissan, Liebherr, Gentoo, the Bridges, Sunderland BID, Accenture, Calsonic Kansei and Northern Print Solutions.
The event – and the wider Work Discovery Sunderland programme – are also supported by Sunderland City Council, SAFC and the North East of England Chamber of Commerce.
Work Discovery co-chairman Paul McEldon is expecting this year’s event to be another success.
“We have got 800 students from schools all over Sunderland here today,” he said.
“The majority of the students taking part are aged between 11 and 14, but we have also expanded the scheme to some of the city’s primary schools.
“Including the careers fair, we have got about 70 businesses here, which is fantastic.”
“We have got cars from Nissan, the University Medical Faculty is here, and there is a lot of exciting stuff for the students to see and do.
“It is about letting the students become aware of the opportunities that are out there for them, helping to take the first steps and inspiring them to explore those opportunities.
“Every year we try to add in new elements to make the event different and exciting for young people, while also being informative.
“As well as all the fantastic first hand information they get from prospective employers and the careers guidance available, this is the first time that we’ve also introduced an element which focuses on the issues that young people can face.
“Work Discovery Week goes from strength to strength and we are very grateful to everyone – particularly our sponsors without whom it wouldn’t happen – for their continued support.”