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Students on fast track to success

Date Posted: 01/07/2015 | Posted In: Latest news

QE students on a pioneering initiative to provide them with the skills for a career in engineering will be taking to the track after designing their own race car.

The students from QE will race the car they have built in partnership with engineers from Cummins Engines, and support from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, at the Croft circuit next week (July 7th).

They are all signed up to the Future Engineers scheme, an initiative launched by the college in 2013 that enables students to work in partnership with various employers to gain experience, practical skills and insight into the wide range of careers within engineering.

Staff from Darlington based Cummins came into the college to work with students on the electrics and the general assembly of the car ahead of its participation in The Greenpower Education Trust challenge, developed to advance young people’s understanding of sustainable engineering and technology.

Encouraging more young people to develop the skills for an engineering career is also a key aim for Foundation for Jobs.

Liz Bryan, QE’s higher education and employment applications coordinator, said: “Being involved in the project has enabled the students to gain a range of skills from the design of the car, having to think about the type of materials to use as well as the practical skills involved in the assembly.

“They have had to work as part of a team, exchanging ideas and coming up with solutions to problems as they have arisen.

“Being able to work with qualified engineers has also given them the opportunity to find out about their routes into the industry as well as what they do as an engineer for Cummins.

“The students have thoroughly enjoyed the project as it has helped them to apply what they are learning in the classroom to a practical application.”

The students participating in Future Engineers benefit from a range of opportunities, including work experience, visits to organisations, links with university engineering departments, mentoring and e-mentoring.

It comes as the engineering sector, a major employer in the North-East, is facing skills gaps with an ageing workforce and not enough young people coming forward to fill the gaps.

A number of the firms involved in the Future Engineers project, as well as QE, are already partners in Foundation for Jobs, a key part of which involves encouraging young people to look at opportunities in sectors such as engineering, which are expected to be major creators of jobs in the North-East.

A national award-winning project, Foundation for Jobs is a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment involving Darlington Borough Council, The Northern Echo and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations, which has worked with around 5,000 young people since its launch in 2012.

For more details contact Foundation for Jobs coordinator Owen McAteer at owen.mcateer@darlington.gov.uk