Schoolchildren start climbing career ladder with business workshop

Kira Greives from Hedworthfield Primary School takes part in the event.
Kira Greives from Hedworthfield Primary School takes part in the event.

Pupils at two South Tyneside schools got hands-on with career choices thanks to a group of North East businesses.

Valley View Primary and Hedworthfield Primary, both in Jarrow, were visited by employees from companies including Nissan and Sunderland College as part of a careers day for pupils aged between five and 11.

Nathan Adey and Charlotte Dempsey from Valley View Primary School learn about career choices.

Nathan Adey and Charlotte Dempsey from Valley View Primary School learn about career choices.

Gemma Jeynes, executive headteacher for both schools, said: “We wanted to give our pupils a real experience of some of the careers they might go into when they’re older so we teamed up with a diverse selection of businesses and organisations based here in the North East. The event was successfully was organised by dedicated staff and parent champions.”

“Pupils took part in experiments with a scientist from Sunderland College, who demonstrated how we can extract DNA from dinosaur fossils, and they also had a go at coding, helping them to understand what it could be like to work in the digital sector.”

Organisations including RTC North, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Asda, B&Q, app developers Hedgehog Lab and web designers MAAD Digital all took part, devising activities for the students to take part in.

Northumbria Police also visited the schools, talking to pupils about their job and bringing along one of their police cars.

We wanted to give our pupils a real experience.

Gemma Jeynes, headteacher

Jen Robson, head of communications at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The careers day really helped the pupils understand that there are so many exciting careers right here in the North East. Whether they want to work in animation or engineering, they can have a brilliant career in this region.

“One of the key parts of our work at the LEP is our North East Ambition programme, which aims to improve careers guidance for all pupils from primary age upwards, and this has been a fantastic example of schools really giving their students the opportunity to raise their aspirations and open their eyes to the possibilities their futures hold.”

The event was sponsored by PR and marketing agency Sarah Hall Consulting.

Ms Hall, the consultancy’s founder, said: “It’s so important that children get the chance to hear about all different types of careers, right from an early age. We can’t raise the next generation of scientists, engineers and designers unless they have the opportunity to learn from some of the brilliant companies we have here in the North East and this event has proved to be a great way of broadening pupils’ horizons.”