The team from Cramlington-based pharmaceutical development and manufacturing firm, Sterling Pharma Solutions is helping local school children to further their learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

The North East of England’s Stem Ambassador Hub, led by RTC North, was set up to educate young people on the real-world applications of STEM subjects through mentoring and hands-on activities to encourage children to pursue careers in these areas.

As a qualified STEM ambassador, Simon Howick, plant engineer at Sterling Pharma Solutions, has been working with local organisations across the North East, such as Bring It On, Engineering UK and RTC North. As part of his work as a mentor he visits local schools and attends career events to offer interview training for STEM positions, design support for industry projects and guidance on revision planning and learning methods.

Commenting on his work as a STEM ambassador, Simon said: “My engineering career spans over twenty years so I know first-hand what it takes to work within the industry.

“I’ve had a great career in engineering, so I’m pleased I have the chance to help the next generation explore the opportunities that are available to them. By regularly visiting schools, engaging with the students and helping them to develop essential skills hopefully we’ll be able to encourage more young people to think about the careers that STEM subjects could lead to.

“We’ve seen a really positive reaction from the children we’ve been working with, there have been a lot of questions and a keen interest in what they could do which has been great to see.”

He also regularly attends Bring It On events, which bring together over 80 engineering businesses and 2,000 young people from across the region.

The work Simon is doing ties in closely with the Sterling Pharma Solutions award-winning Apprenticeship Programme, which offers extensive training and opportunities for progression within the company.