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Engineering firm recruits from local school

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An engineering employer has gone back to school to recruit workers and inspire the next generation.

Gestamp Tallent Automotive in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has set Year 11 pupils at nearby Woodham Academy a series of challenges with the winners having the opportunity to get a job.

Pupils have spent National Apprenticeship Week preparing their presentations knowing a successful pitch on March 27 could see them hired.

The scheme was set up in association with Durham's education and business partnership and is now in its fourth year.

Having recruited eight youngsters from the school in that time, David Pearson, Gestamp Tallent's training controller is confident this year's intake will bring that total to double figures, given the quality of work seen so far. Gestamp Tallent is recruiting up to 18 apprentices this year.

Having recruited eight youngsters from the school in that time, David Pearson, Gestamp Tallent's training controller is confident this year's intake will bring that total to double figures, given the quality of work seen so far. Gestamp Tallent is recruiting up to 18 apprentices this year.

"We offer everyone in Year 11 the opportunity to apply, with tasks including purchase, design-based tasks and a presentation to directors in our boardroom," he said. "These young people are our future toolmakers, maintenance technicians and managers.

"This year we have 11 pupils taking part in the final stages and they will go through our full recruitment process. We have invested a lot of time and money in the scheme but it has been well worth it. We have recruited some very good young people as a result."

Semta chief executive Sarah Sillars said: "This initiative is exactly the sort of thing that should be showcased as best practice for other firms to consider.

"It engages the youngsters, gives them, their teachers and parents a greater understanding of how exciting it is to work in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector and gives the company the chance to find talent on their own doorstep."