L-R: Kehri Ellis, North Tyneside Learning Trust, students & business teacher from George Stephenson High School, Kate Dawson of the All In One Company, Charlotte Windebank, MD of FIRST Face to Face
FIRST Face to Face (FFTF) and North Tyneside Learning Trust (NTLT) have teamed up to create Industry Spark, an employer-led competition designed to bring benefit to both local businesses and students.
Up to 25000 students will take part in the competition, which will be a cross generational competition to tackle the skills gap and high youth unemployment levels in the North East.
Businesses from four of the fastest growing sectors in the North East -digital, manufacturing, energy and life sciences- will set the students a project brief. The competition will culminate in a live final on the 28th March where the top four teams from each sector will pitch their idea in front of an audience of local businesses, start-ups and their peers.
The winners will receive prizes, feedback and mentoring from local businesses, and introductions to industry to further enhance their skills and experience.
Kate Dawson, managing director of the All In One Company said: “We are keen to engage with students to help us promote working in this wonderfully creative industry of bespoke garment making. Recruiting staff who are passionate about creativity and UK manufacturing is a key part of our company and as part of our growth plan we are keen to employ young fresh talent both in production and marketing.”
Charlotte Windebank, managing director of FFTF said “By focusing Industry Spark on the four fastest growing sectors in the North East we hope to excite and inspire young people so they understand where the jobs are and stay in the North East to help grow the local economy”
Kehri Ellis, chief executive of NTLT “The North East has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country; this coupled with young people leaving education unprepared for the world of work has meant we have a skills gap and this in turn jeopardises the survival of local businesses. Industry Spark seeks to reflect the fast changes that are happening in our work places and aims to help prepare young people through mentoring and the development of valuable essential skills as well as introducing them to project based learning which is used by many employers.”