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Business & Economy

Adient awards donation boosts Primary Engineer programme

A vehicle seat manufacturer has shown its commitment to helping nurture young talent by donating a £1,500 awards prize to a skills programme.

Adient has donated its prize from winning the Business Competitiveness honour at the North East Automotive Alliance’s annual awards to Primary Engineer.

Primary Engineer was chosen following Adient’s involvement in a series of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) engagement programmes with three local schools.

Over the past 12 years, Primary Engineer has created an engineering curriculum that spans early years, primary, secondary and further education institutions, with its core aim to develop children and young people through engagement with engineering.

One of the key STEM projects supported by the North East Automotive Alliance, Primary Engineer delivers programmes to inspire children, pupils and teachers through continued professional development, whole class project work, competitions and exhibitions.

It was the second consecutive year that Adient had picked up the award, and Hayley Cheel, HR manager at the Sunderland-based firm, said its decision to support Primary Engineer was an easy one.

“We are thrilled to win this award two years running,” she said, “and having already worked successfully with Primary Engineer, after donating our prize money last year, it was an obvious choice again.

“The Primary Engineer programme has enabled some of our engineers to work with three local schools on STEM-related activities and this supports our wider school engagement strategy.

“We are delighted to award Primary Engineer the prize money that will enable us to work with a further three local schools this year.”

Liam Weatherill, regional director (North) at Primary Engineer, said: “I’d like to thank Adient for donating their prize money for a following year.

“Supported by local engineers, our school programmes increase the knowledge and practical experience of teachers and encourage children to think like engineers.

“I would also like to thank the North East Automotive Alliance for their continued support.”

The North East Automotive Alliance awards celebration donated £14,000 to the region’s future talent and welcomed industrialists from some of the area’s major automotive companies, including Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Calsonic Kansei, Unipres (UK), Komatsu UK, Adient Seating UK and Lear Corporation.

Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “I am delighted that, thanks to the support of our sponsors, we have been able to award £14,000 in support of future talent and STEM projects.

“The donation to Primary Engineer on behalf of Adient is fantastic in terms of engaging with local schools around STEM activity and promoting our sector to the younger generation.”

The awards evening was sponsored by MAKE it Sunderland, Invest South Tyneside, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Gateshead College, RTC North and the University of Sunderland.