Engineering exhibition returns to North East for the first time since the pandemic

Published 11/10/2022
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An exhibition aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers is to be held live again this year for the first time since the Covid pandemic began. The ‘Bring It On’ exhibition will take place on October 12th and 13th at the Beacon of Light Building in Sunderland. Over 2000 school students have already signed up to attend.
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‘Bring It On - The Exhibition for Future Engineers in the North East and the Tees Valley’ will see young people from all parts of the region learning about the wide range of engineering opportunities available locally. The event, which has been running since 2017, will take place face-to-face after two years of being held virtually due to the pandemic.


More than 50 companies from all engineering sectors in the North East and Tees Valley will showcase what they engineer and how they do it - and encourage young people to get involved. More than 110 schools from across the region will be attending.


The exhibition will also be broadcast online to allow more students, teachers and parents to take part. This will see hundreds more students learn about STEM careers in the region, in addition to the 2000 pupils attending in person. The broadcast will be delivered by Media and TV students from Stockton Riverside College.


Final-year engineering students from local universities and colleges will also be attending the exhibition after the schools have left on October 12th. This will provide them with an opportunity to discover and meet local engineering companies and help exhibitors identify future talent.


Bowman Bradley, co-founder of the event, said:

"We are delighted to be back for the fourth live Bring It On showcase. The event has thrived on virtual offerings for the past two years, but there is no substitute for the live exhibition. We will once again welcome pupils from all parts of the North East and the Tees Valley to educate them about the engineering opportunities that exist around them. We hope to inspire them to consider a career in engineering and to help them explore routes into this field. In this way, we expect to raise the aspirations of young people in the region, help to close the engineering skills gap and contribute to the upskilling agenda.”


According to Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Statistics for 2020, engineering graduates earned an average of £28,000 per year in comparison to a £25,000 average across all fields. Given the cost of living crisis and ongoing levelling up challenges, Bring It On hopes to inspire more children in the North East to consider the jobs of the future that a career in engineering provides.


Mr Bradley said: “As well as the pupils, we expect to welcome up to 200 teachers and this year, for the first time, we will host a small number of parents. Both are critical as influencers of our young people "


Feedback from previous face-to-face events shows the impact Bring It On has had on carer aspirations for young people in the region. One secondary school teacher, who attended in 2019, said:

“Great to see students enjoying the day. It opened my eyes to the opportunities available to our students!”


A primary school teacher, who attended in 2019, said:

“My children thoroughly enjoyed the event. Lots of the children in my school would never have had the opportunity to attend such an event if my school did not attend it. It gives me great pleasure to witness the ‘WOW’ moments when a child experiences new things and is successful in achieving things they perceive as unachievable to them. This event is invaluable.”


The exhibition has also received positive feedback from businesses that took part, with one exhibitor saying:

“Direct engagement with so many children, it’s very easy to inspire a young person with face-to-face contact, enabling them to ask lots of questions and see how passionate we are about engineering. It really opens the minds of the young people when they see careers they never knew were accessible to them and gives them the chance to consider a career in an industry they had no idea about.”


Bring It On has been supported by a wide range of organisations, including charitable foundations, local authorities, engineering companies, professional engineering institutions and Rotary Clubs.

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About The Author

Bowman Bradley is one of the founders of Bring It On North East. He is a retired Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who spent his early career working in the chemical industry in Teesside and the last 25 years as an engineering project manager and consultant working in all parts of the world on many different types of projects. Mr Bradley became one of four founders of Bring It On in 2017 and helped to develop it into what it is today. He has also served as the North East Education Officer and North East Regional Chair of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is currently a member of their Council. He continues to work closely with the local branches of other Professional Engineering Institutions in the region to promote engineering as a career to young people.

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