Manufacturing leader to support young people

Manufacturing leader to support young people

The chairman of one of the region’s leading manufacturing and engineering companies has joined a scheme to support young people as they make the transition from education to the world of work.

Geoff Ford MBE, chairman of the Ford Engineering Group, has signed up to become an Enterprise Adviser, working in partnership with St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn to help shape the careers guidance offered to students and bridge the gap between schools and industry.

“I have a great deal of faith in the young people of the North East and the more work we do to support them and help them to make decisions about their future career paths the better,” said Geoff Ford.

Geoff is one of the first North East business leaders to sign up to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Enterprise Adviser scheme.

Each Adviser will work with a secondary school in the region, helping staff and teachers to shape the delivery of careers education and making sure it aligns with what businesses need from the next generation of employees.

South Tyneside-based Ford Engineering Group is an award winning, family owned corporation specialising in the machining and pressing of components and assemblies for the aerospace, automotive and related high-technology industries.

“A key feature of the Enterprise Adviser programme is to show young people what we’re looking for in the workplace. It’s about helping young people find their way in the world of work and making sure they’re work-ready when they leave school,” said Geoff.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is now looking for other regional business leaders to step forward and volunteer as an Enterprise Adviser, working with an individual school in their area.

“It’s an opportunity to do something both for young people and for our businesses,” added Geoff.

“It’s an investment in terms of time but there is a payback and you’ll be able to see the results of your efforts – the better the job we do in mentoring and supporting these young people, the more we and other future employers will benefit.

"The workforce of the future will be more aware, focused and have a better understanding of what employers are looking for.

“We owe it to our young people and I feel sure that our future is in good hands with them.”

The North East LEP is now recruiting Enterprise Advisers to work with senior management teams at schools across the region.

Find out more about the programme at