A Teesside-based charity is introducing young people to the world of work in the automotive industry, with its programme of local business visits and demonstrations.
The High Tide Foundation’s Automotive Cadetship programme allows young people to visit businesses involved in various areas of the motor industry, including the assembly of vehicles, the manufacture of their components and car sales, throughout a five-week period.
This year, the group of 12 teenagers, aged 13 and 14, from Hillsview and Unity City Academies in Middlesbrough, visited businesses including NIFCO, AV Dawson, Sunderland’s Nissan manufacturing plant and Simon Bailes Peugeot’s dealership in Stockton-on-Tees.
The High Tide Foundation works alongside companies, in a range of sectors comprising manufacturing, engineering, automotive, logistics and shipping, to introduce young people to the workplace.
The aim is to help these individuals develop skills, and experience opportunities with businesses that they would not necessarily be able to access in education.
To commemorate the end of the programme, students were invited to a graduation ceremony with a film of the various tours, and were presented with a certificate to celebrate the completion of the course.
Leonie Roche, project coordinator at the High Tide Foundation, said: “The Automotive Cadetship is really inspiring the local young people of Tees Valley, as it’s opening their eyes to the career prospects that you might not necessarily see without visiting these amazing businesses.
“We are so thankful to our Automotive Cadetship sponsors AV Dawson and Nifco, alongside the delivery partners Nissan and Simon Bailes.
“We would not be able to deliver such a bespoke experience without their support and commitment to the programme.
“Having been brought up in Teesside myself, it’s so encouraging and motivating to know that such recognised companies are just as passionate as High Tide to promote the area and the opportunities it holds.”
John Sedgwick, managing director of Simon Bailes Peugeot, said: “The Automotive Cadetship is an initiative that we often get involved with, as it teaches the children invaluable lessons about how the automotive industry works, the different stages and the various roles involved within the sector.
“It was fantastic to see the students asking thought-provoking questions in the dealership and we look forward to continuing our support for the event in the future.”
Charlie Nettle, head of communications and marketing at AV Dawson, added: “The cadetship is unique in the way that it takes students through the full automotive supply chain; from steel to finished vehicles.
“It illustrates the vital links between businesses that operate in the automotive supply chain within the North East.
“It also crucially demonstrates the wide scope of job opportunities that are available to the next working generation.
“It’s initiatives like High Tide’s cadetship that are vital in combatting the potential skills gap we may face in the region in the future.”