Young Engineers build bridges

Young Engineers build bridges

11th January 2018


PUPILS take on the challenge of building a giant suspension bridge to inspire their interest in engineering.

Pupils from Haughton Academy, part of the Education Village Academy Trust joined more than 105 pupils from secondary schools across Darlington for a week of sessions run by the national award winning Foundation for Jobs.

Pupils build the 14 metre long cable-stayed bridge, owned by The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East, from scratch and then carry out the ultimate test of walking across it.

It is the sixth year in a row that ICE has joined forces with Foundation for Jobs and Darlington College, which hosts the activity, to give children and young people a hands-on example of civil engineering work.

It also demonstrates the wider skills engineers use in their everyday work such as problem solving and teamwork.

Foundation for Jobs, which has now worked with more than 8,000 young people since its launch in 2012, is funded by The Careers & Enterprise Company and the County Durham Community Foundation and works to reduce youth unemployment by matching young people’s aspirations with those sectors such as engineering which are vital to the North-East’s economy but which many young people are not pursuing because of incorrect perceptions of the type of work involved.

Foundation for Jobs co-ordinator Owen McAteer said: “Bridge week is always one of our most popular activities each year and we really appreciate the support of The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East and Darlington College in enabling us to once again run the activity.

“The pupils really enjoy the challenge and it meets our aim of demonstrating to them that they have the skills and abilities required to work in engineering, which is a vital part of the North-East economy.”

Foundation for Jobs is a joint initiative involving Darlington Borough Council, schools, colleges and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations, which has also enjoyed support from businesses and industrialists across the whole North-East region.

For details on Foundation for Jobs contact Owen McAteer at or visit

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