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Visit to North East energy site unlocks learning for Berwick pupils

Students from Berwick Academy in Northumberland visited a key site in the North East energy sector to learn about the range of careers available to them in the future.

During a day spent at InTEGRel in Gateshead, where academics and engineers work to deliver breakthroughs in the decarbonisation of heat, year 9 students explored roles ranging from Company Director to Technician.

Neil Willis, Regional Lead: Education Challenge at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We know that encounters with employers can help students to understand how what they learn at school applies to their future careers and can have a positive impact on their ambition, motivation and attainment.

“That’s why a vital part of our Education Challenge programme focuses on supporting schools and employers to bring the world of work into the classroom.”

Students visited the InTEGRel control room, learning about the technology being used to tackle the UK’s energy challenges, while staff from Northern Gas Networks, Newcastle University, Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid introduced the students to a wide range of career paths within the energy sector.

The visit built on an earlier in-school event which saw businesses visit Berwick Academy to talk to students and lead a range of hands-on activities relating to the energy sector.

Rupert, a student at Berwick Academy, commented: “Having Northern Gas Networks come in to see us at school was great, but having the opportunity to see first-hand the work that they are doing right here in our region has made everything so much clearer for me. I now know even more about all the different careers that are possible and also a little bit about how to get there, with university as a likely option.”

Neil Willis added: “The North East energy sector is a strategically important sector in the region, full of opportunities for young people and it’s vital that we work closely with employers to help schools, parents and pupils to visualise a successful path into their future education and careers.”

This event was part of the North East LEP’s Education Challenge programme, which aims to reduce the gap between the North East’s best and lowest performing schools and to integrate an understanding of the world of work and career opportunities into the curriculum.

Find out more about the Education Challenge programme.