Primary Engineer School Engagement Programme Boosted by Adient Awards Donation

Sunderland seat manufacturer, Adient, has presented its £1,500 Business Competitiveness award prize from the North East Automotive Alliance’s (NEAA) annual awards to Primary Engineer, in support of future talent.

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.

Adient, part of a global group who manufacturer one in every three seats in the world, collected the Business Competitiveness award for the second consecutive year at the regional automotive awards. Primary Engineer was chosen as the beneficiary of the winning donation following Adient’s involvement in a series of positive Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) engagement programmes with three local schools.

Hayley Cheel, HR manager at Adient said: “We are thrilled to win this award two years running. Having already worked successfully with Primary Engineer, after donating our prize money last year, it was an obvious choice again this year.

“The Primary Engineer programme has enabled some of our engineers to work with three local schools on STEM related activities and this supports Adient’s 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.”

Ian Green, senior training controller at Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), who sponsored the Business Excellence award, presented the cheque to Primary Engineer’s Regional Director, Liam Weatherill, at Adient’s plant in Sunderland.

Ian said: “Congratulations to Adient on this well-deserved win and I am delighted they have chosen to donate this prize money towards school engagement activities with Primary Engineer.

“It is vitally important that we continue to bridge the gap between industry and education, and employers like Adient backing STEM school engagement are a major part of this.”

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

Liam Weatherill, regional director (North) at Primary Engineer said: “Adient’s donation will be used to inspire young people to consider STEM careers in the future. Supported by local engineers, our school programmes increase the knowledge and practical experience of teachers and encourage children to think like engineers.

“I’d like to congratulate Adient in winning the award and thank them for donating their prize money to Primary Engineer for a following year. This funding will enable us to further increase the number of schools in the North East that participate in our programmes. I would also like to thank the North East Automotive Alliance for their continued support.”

The NEAA automotive awards celebration, which took place in February, donated £14,000 to the region’s future talent and welcomed industrialists from some of the region’s major automotive companies, including Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Calsonic Kansei, Unipres (UK), Komatsu UK, Adient Seating UK and Lear Corporation. The awards recognised some of the brightest youngsters and outstanding achievements of companies in the North East of England.

Paul Butler, chief executive of the NEAA said of the awards: “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 gratefully sponsored by MAKE it Sunderland, Invest South Tyneside, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Gateshead College, RTC North and the University of Sunderland.