Hartlepool firm hopes to engineer bright future for youngsters

Pupils from Catcote Academy are being given an introduction into engineering.
Pupils from Catcote Academy are being given an introduction into engineering.

A company is hoping to engineer a bright future for a group of youngsters after teaming up with a Hartlepool school.

Go Ahead Training has formed a partnership with Catcote Academy, based on Catcote Road, to give pupils an introduction into potential careers in engineering through the use of robotics.

Catcote student Andrew Griffiths listens to Go Ahead Training's Mike Nelson.

Catcote student Andrew Griffiths listens to Go Ahead Training's Mike Nelson.

The youngsters are the first in the region to be able to experiment with the mini-machines from Go Ahead’s VEX IQ Robotics programme, which they get to control, fix and alter.

Go Ahead Training managing director Dave Spensley said: “If we’re to bridge the skills which currently exist within the North East’s engineering and manufacturing sectors we have to get young people engaged and show them that there are careers our there for them.

“A key element of that challenge is to show them that those sectors can be fun, and that’s why it’s so important for myself and the team to get out into schools to deliver the VEX IQ Robotics programme. We went to Catcote Academy and the kids had a great time. Our aim is that at the end of the programme we’ve changed their perceptions of the industry because after all, one of them could be an engineering star of the future.”

Catcote Academy ICT teacher Paul Sowerby attended the session, and said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity for our students to get a flavour of engineering, and what it actually means.

We have to get young people engaged and show them that there are careers out there for them

Dave Spensley, Go Ahead Training managing director

“I think a lot of people are put off by the actual term, but once they understand what it entails then their opinions are changed.

“The robots are brilliant and the youngsters here have had a fantastic time. Go Ahead has given them a chance to do something different and gives them a chance which they may not otherwise have had.”

Go Ahead will be visiting other schools in the town and across the region to deliver the programme.

Mr Spensley added: “Employers are crying out for talented young people who can come into their business and grow. Our manufacturing and engineering sectors do have an ageing workforce, so its vital that if they’re to continue to grow they have ready-made replacements for those workers who reach retirement age.”

Catcote pupil Kieran Smith.

Catcote pupil Kieran Smith.

Lewis Gledhill, Alfie Willoughby, and Mike Nelson, of Go Ahead Training.

Lewis Gledhill, Alfie Willoughby, and Mike Nelson, of Go Ahead Training.