Nearly 200 students have improved their future career prospects by achieving gold and silver awards from the national industrial cadet programme.
Students from South Durham UTC have completed a 12-week project culminating in a presentation of their assignments to ten different businesses.
The business partners from across the region have supported the projects through mentoring the students and supporting them in their creative ideas and also judged the projects.
Catherine Purvis-Mawson, vice principal for business engagement, careers and marketing, said: “We’re delighted with the quality of the projects this year and the commitment from both the students and the businesses.
“They have created some fantastic product designs using a variety of skills and software.”
Four graduates and eight apprentices from Hitachi Rail furthered their own development by mentoring students on ten of the projects.
The project was to re-design an element of the interior of the train such as a table.
Kendra Stonehouse, learning and development manager at Hitachi Rail, said: “The projects are a brilliant way for the students to learn and gain experience of the world of work.
“The students had to consider a variety of different elements to the design including Health and Safety standards, quality standards, responsible procurement and meeting the expectations of fare-paying passengers.
“The skills that students have been demonstrating today make them very employable and we are delighted to be supporting them at the start of their exciting career journey.”
The Year 10 students will now receive a Silver level award meaning they have completed the activities including company research, site visits, presentation materials and problem solving.
The older Year 12 students will be accredited with a Gold award thanks to their formal presentation process.
• Pictured above: The winning team of students designed an innovative bar system to allow multiple products to be painted at once for Hydram Engineering.