The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has applauded the industry’s rising female stars, as the gender skills gap continues to narrow, with six young ladies in the finals at a prestigious awards evening.

Georgia Claughan, ISD degree apprentice, Emma Coulson HR degree apprentice and Emma Groark, administration assistant, all from Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, were finalists in the Geoff Ford MBE Apprentice Awards.

Eve Davison, plastics engineer, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, Madelaine Hays, supply chain analyst, Adient Seating and Erin Hope, graduate engineer, Owben, were finalists in the Graduate Awards.

Georgia Claughan won the Geoff Ford MBE Apprentice Award and Eve Davison scooped the Graduate Award.

Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “The gender skills gap is something all sectors, not just the NEAA, continue to support and it was so heart-warming that all the finalists in the apprentice and graduate categories were female, which demonstrates the automotive sector is continuing to promote, support and applaud women who, quite rightly, have been recognised for their outstanding achievements.”

Eve Davison, plastics engineer, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, said: “Everyone comes together to celebrate the North East and the automotive industry that we have here. It’s nice to realise how much people are appreciated and what an impact they are having within the sector.”

£14,500 was awarded to STEM engagement programmes and local schools to assist projects as a result of sponsorship raised at the dinner, with Georgia and Eve each receiving £1,000 towards their learning.