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Hands-on engineering experience for disengaged students

Six days spent in a state of the art engineering facility has given students from one North Tyneside school an insight into possible future career paths.

John Spence Community High School in North Tyneside partnered with Tyne Coast College and Tyne North Training, who offer engineering apprenticeships, to give students a taste of six different engineering specialisms.

During a series of hands-on workshops, students made things that they could take away with them and gained experience of a range of engineering career paths. 

The programme was used to help disengaged year 9 students gain a better understanding of one of their future career options and, by doing so, help them to re-engage with learning.

Addressing the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks

The programme is relevant to Good Career Guidance Benchmarks 6 and 7, which focus on experience of workplaces and encounters with further and higher education. 
While it’s still in its early stages, feedback from students so far has been good and the hope is that at least some will see engineering as an option for progression once they leave the school at the end of year 11. 

The school now plans to repeat the programme with a similar cohort of year 9 students next year. 

Top tips for success:

  • Good links with local providers
  • Facilities for practical tasks to be carried out
  • Ability to arrange logistics and transport


Three biggest challenges:

  • No buy-in from students and therefore no impact
  • The risk of the college or training provider pulling out 
  • Staff’s reluctance to let students out

What next?
More programmes with other Further Education providers will be arranged. 

For more information contact Kate Winder, Careers Leader, on [email protected]