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National launch for Teesside scheme

Monday 21 January 2013 22:00

A Teesside born initiative designed to encourage young people into careers in manufacturing has been rolled out nationally by HRH The Prince of Wales.

In 2010 The Prince visited the Tata Steel plant on Teesside and expressed the hope that companies would engage more with young people to raise awareness of the industrial sector and its job opportunities.

Tata responded the following year by launching a pilot project for 13 to 14-year-olds from local schools under the name Industrial Cadets.

Prince Charles has now announced the roll out of the programme nationally, run by charity EDT and seed funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Prince was at Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood Plant on Merseyside to launch the programme as a national initiative.

To become an Industrial Cadet, students aged 12 -14 from local schools will take part in a programme of activities providing them with a life changing experience:  raising aspirations by developing employability skills, and informing them of the opportunities for careers in local industry.

The flexible structure has been designed to allow companies to develop tailored programmes within a standard framework; teaching valuable skills and increasing students’ abilities through a mixture of visits, talks, mentoring, project work and other engagements.

Seed funding for the development of Industrial Cadets has been provide by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Communities Secretary  Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles joined the Prince at the launch event.

The Communities Secretary said: "Industrial and engineering firms play a vital role in the UK economy, and they need qualified and motivated employees for the future.  It is crucial that young people have the chance to learn about the industrial heritage of their area, and the great career opportunities these firms can offer them.  I want Industry to have a real presence in schools and communities to get our young people excited about a career in Industry.  Industrial Cadets will do just that.”

Karl Koehler, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “It is very encouraging to see an idea born during The Prince of Wales’s visit to Tata Steel grow so rapidly into a programme running in major towns and cities across the country.

“I would strongly recommend industrial and manufacturing companies to get involved. Tata Steel has benefited directly from engaging with local schools and we believe that Industrial Cadets has an important role in enabling companies like us to inspire and train the future workforce in their local areas.”

EDT is aiming to deliver 400 Industrial Cadet places across a number of UK towns and cities during the next year.

Further growth in the programme is planned for future years, with the aim of industrial and manufacturing companies taking a lead in engaging with local young people to inform, train and inspire them to aspire to careers in industry.