THE NORTH EAST’S top businesses have once again pledged their support for an innovative scheme which links the region’s companies with schools in Sunderland.


Work Discovery Week will be marking its third successful year in 2015, bringing together students from across Sunderland with a range of organisations through an imaginative programme of events.


More than 70 representatives from businesses and schools turned out for the official launch of WDW 2015, celebrated with a special dinner at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light where Kevin Fitzpatrick, Vice President for UK Manufacturing at Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, was guest speaker.


Already signed up as sponsors for this year’s event are Gentoo, Sunderland College, University of Sunderland and Arriva, along with Liebherr, Nissan, Calsonic Kansei, the Bridges, Accenture, TRW and Northern Print Solutions.


The event is also supported by Sunderland AFC, NECC and Sunderland City Council.


Work Discovery Week – which this year takes place from June 29 to July 3 –  is now part of a year-long programme under the Work Discovery Sunderland banner, which includes dedicated sector days and inspirational speaker days.


“It was fantastic to see such a great turn out for our launch event and to see the support that we already have from so many of the region’s top companies,” said Gary Hutchinson, co-chair of the Sunderland’s Economic Leadership Board Business Schools Task Group which set up Work Discovery Sunderland.


“Without their input Work Discovery Week simply wouldn’t happen and we hope that many of the region’s other businesses will also get on board with an initiative that’s being held up across the country as a blueprint of how to get young people and businesses to engage with each other.”


Work Discovery Week was launched in 2013 out of the desire that businesses wanted to forge stronger relationships with the workforce of the future.


More than 1000 school pupils have now been involved each year, taking part in activities ranging from a careers fair, business challenges, visits to companies, workshops and hands-on activities.


Any company wanting to get involved or who wants more information should contact Steph Rose