Ten months after the North East Automotive Alliance’s (NEAA) inaugural automotive awards, the industry is seeing benefit from the significant STEM donations.

Two hundred and forty industry guests attended the inaugural event back in February 2018 where £18,000 was awarded in support of the region’s future automotive talent.

Several months later the school’s engagement and STEM donations are being put to good use including sponsorship of Bring it On, which took place in October.

Bring it On welcomed over 70 exhibitors across the region and over 2,750 pupils – the biggest celebration of Engineering in the North East. It was an extremely successful event, which included an Automotive, Rail and Aerospace zone that was heavily populated with NEAA member companies, including headline sponsor AVID Technology.

Ryan Maughan, managing director of Avid Technology said: “AVID is working at the cutting edge of technology, and we have an award-winning team of engineers and scientists that develop world changing technology at our facility in Cramlington, Northumberland. Raising the aspirations of young people and inspiring them to consider careers in science and engineering is something that we are passionate about, and it is a privilege to have had the opportunity to support a great event like Bring it On which does exactly that in a great format.”

Nissan Skills Foundation has also benefitted from awards donations and has put this towards Lego robotics competitions for local schools, which concentrates on the STEM learning.

The NEAA is delighted to see the clear impact the awards have had on local school engagement and STEM initiatives – leading to the announcement of the second Annual Awards which will return on Friday 1 February 2019.

The NEAA Awards 2019, sponsored by MAKE it Sunderland, are designed to celebrate the outstanding achievements of companies and individuals within the North East automotive sector and help further raise the profile of this remarkable industry.

Paul Butler, chief executive officer of the NEAA said: “It’s vitally important for the future success of the sector that we have the right quality skills coming through the system and that we recognise and develop our future talent. It is wonderful to see the clear impact the inaugural awards have had on future talent and STEM projects and I am delighted to confirm that the awards will return in 2019 with the view of creating the same, if not greater, impact.

“I encourage members of the alliance to seize the opportunity to showcase your company at these regional industry awards. It is not only an opportunity to support future talent, but it is also an opportunity to raise the profile of your company and be acknowledged for your successes.”

The 2019 award categories are:

  • Outstanding Contribution Award, Sponsored by MAKE it Sunderland
  • School Engagement Award, Sponsored by Invest South Tyneside
  • Apprentice Award, Sponsored by Gateshead College
  • Graduate Award
  • Innovation Award, Sponsored by University of Sunderland
  • Business Competitiveness Award
  • SME Company of the Year Award, Sponsored by RTC
  • Trade and Investment Award

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College and sponsor of the Apprentice Award, said: “We’re proud to sponsor this award and support the growth of an automotive supply chain that’s renowned for its expertise throughout the world. It’s great to see so many firms in this sector investing in apprenticeships, which are a great way of helping companies grow their business through the development of new skills and fresh ideas. The bespoke training that we develop with employers enables the industry to address critical skills shortages and become even more competitive.”

Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and sponsor of the School Engagement Award, said: “South Tyneside Council is proud to sponsor the School Engagement award again this year. Manufacturing is changing, and so are the roles available within the sector – this makes it even more vital that organisations continue to educate and inspire the workforce of the future.

“The support to schools for both students and teachers will have an impact on the subjects studied, qualifications gained and the skills and expertise available in the region as a whole. This award will recognise those companies that go above and beyond to ensure education and industry work together to achieve a common goal.”

Companies considering entering the 2019 awards should be mindful of the entry deadline of Thursday 20 December 2018.