Bright sparks see ways to engineer good career

news_71_bigSTUDENTS have been given an insight into a successful scheme aimed at developing engineering skills.

The Encouraging Engineering scheme, in its fourth year, sees companies in Darlington support students studying towards a mechanical engineering degree.

Students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Darlington College and Carmel College’s sixth form took part in an open day promoting the scheme and hosted by MTE (Mech-Tool Engineering, based in the town’s Whessoe Road.

Encouraging Engineering is a partnership between Darlington Borough Council and some of the town’s largest engineering employers, including MTE, Cummins Engines, DeepOcean Group (formerly CTC Marine Projects) and Henry Williams Limited.

Professional engineers from the companies gave the students an insight into their dayto- day work, followed by a tour of MTE’s Darlington factory and Teesside assembly facility.

As well as offering financial support with their studies, students benefit from work experience on their doorstep, through summer placements.

Mentoring support is also offered throughout the duration of the young people’s studies and participating students also benefit from experience in a variety of commercial, technical and manufacturing roles, The project is funded by the British American Tobacco legacy and supports a fouryear programme of study for a mechanical engineering degree.

Students must be studying at Darlington College or one of the town’s two sixth forms to be eligible to apply.

Ron Davison, technical director at MTE, said: “MTE is proud to be a part of what we believe to be a very important ingredient in the development of young people in the North- East.

“It makes a valuable contribution to rebuilding the technical engineering skill base within the country.”

It comes as Foundation for Jobs, the private-public sector campaign to tackle youth unemployment, led by The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership, aims to encourage more young people to consider careers in engineering.

The sector is expected to offer tens of thousands of jobs in the North-East over the coming decade.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington council’s lead on economy and regeneration, said: “Engineering is a vital part of the economy in Darlington and the wider North- East, as well as being a key focus of Foundation for Jobs.

“To ensure our engineering firms continue to flourish, like any business they need to attract the best young people, and this scheme aims to ensure Darlington does not suffer a brain drain where highly skilled young people feel they need to move away to fulfil their ambitions.”