The Year 8 students from Greenfield Community College’s Newton Aycliffe and Shildon campuses enjoyed an action packed careers and enterprise day at the college.

The group, aged 12 and 13, were tasked with cooking up a special menu prepared by Auckland Castle Trust’s Head Chef Luke Orwin, with ingredients supplied by the Bishop Auckland branch of Sainsbury’s.

This kitchen-based class, designed to teach about cooking and nutrition, was one of a number of similar activities taking place throughout the day, with others including workshops in business and finance, enterprise and photography, advertising and radio, and marketing and social media.

They were held across the college’s Woodhouse Lane campus, including its Ambition restaurant, recording studio and print room.

The event was opened by Rebecca Coates, HR and Corporate Services Director at Auckland Castle Trust, who talked about opportunities for young people and the exciting plans under development in Bishop Auckland.

She said: “Getting hands-on experience is an important part of career development, especially for young people who are just starting out. Auckland Castle Trust is delighted to be working with Bishop Auckland College to offer such opportunities for the local community.”

The college already works closely with Auckland Castle Trust on the creation of high quality apprenticeship opportunities. Earlier this year the duo launched the Auckland Academy partnership project, designed to offer a range of high-quality apprenticeships in areas such as catering, horticulture, business, tourism and customer service.

Lynn Bennett, PR Ambassador for Sainsbury’s Bishop Auckland, said: “Being a part of the careers day, and providing all the food that the children used to create a stunning Spanish Menu, was a joy. There was a constant buzz in the kitchen, and watching some very quiet children becoming very animated as they progressed throughout the day to give a presentation at the end of the workshop, is all part of the community spirit that Sainsbury’s love to be involved with.”

Natalie Davison-Terranova, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Auckland College, added: “We were delighted to welcome the pupils from Greenfield Community College and are very grateful to Sainbury’s and Auckland Castle Trust, as key local employers, for their support.

“Giving children an early opportunity to visit the college and hear from local employers, as well as enjoying tasters in different curriculum areas, is very beneficial to them as they consider their GCSE options.”

The event was supported by the Gatsby Foundation’s ‘Career Benchmarks’ national pilot being run by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the career benchmarks pilot at North East LEP, said: “By working in partnership, schools and colleges are able to ensure students have the skills, enterprising attitudes and experiences that businesses are looking for. Events like the careers and enterprise day at Bishop Auckland College give students experience of the world of work, which is so important when thinking about future career goals and ambitions.”