January 7, 2020 @ 14:04 by Richard Dawson
200 business leaders from the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) will gather for their third annual industry awards to celebrate outstanding talent in the region’s supply chain.
The event will take place at the Roker Hotel on February 21 and will recognize the achievements of companies flying the flag for the North East automotive sector.
There is a philanthropic side to the evening, with £14,000 donated to support up and coming automotive talent through STEM engagement programs with local schools in 2019.
St Robert school in Washington was one of the beneficiaries last year, with Unipres UK donating its £1500 prize in recognition of the school’s strategy towards engaging young people with STEM subjects.
John Green, assistant headteacher at St Robert school, said: “The opportunity to work with local partners from the automotive industry has been truly inspirational for our pupils.
“They have developed many employability skills preparing them for the world of work.
“The money awarded to the school was used to purchase two 3D printers that are used by our pupils to create working prototypes for their coursework in engineering. The quality of coursework has risen dramatically as a result.”
The NEAA awards evening will see Mike Hawes, chief executive at The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), deliver the keynote address.
SMMT is the trade association for the UK motor industry and represents 800 automotive companies.
Paul Butler, CEO of The North East Automotive Alliance, said: “The awards present the perfect opportunity for the region’s supply chain success stories to be applauded.
“It is a key night for the sector to come together and really recognise the great talent we have here in the North East.
“Despite a year of political uncertainty, the sector remains buoyant and we certainly have a lot to shout about.
“As we move into 2020, we look forward to hosting a series of ‘Meet the Buyer’ events for our members. The first in January will be followed very quickly afterwards by our awards evening, so the first quarter of 2020 is going to be action-packed.”