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Essex pupils steer their way to a bright future in Ford higher apprentice challenge

27 July 2016

Engineers of the future have been put through their paces in a special competition organised by car manufacturer Ford.

The engineering and IT challenge, won by Team Cobalt of Beauchamps High School, Wickford, was held at the Dunton Technical Centre.

The students from Beauchamps were joined in the competition by pupils from Brentwood County High School and Westcliff High School for Boys, and saw the teams asked to complete a number of tasks.

These included designing and manufacturing a vehicle capable of carrying an egg down a ramp and around a course, and designing and creating on online commercial for the vehicle.

The winners from Beauchamps will now spend a week at the Dunton Technical Centre finding out more about the work they do.

Chris Taylor, manager of Vehicle Evaluation & Verification Projects at Dunton Technical Centre, who opened the day with a talk to the students, and was one of the judges said: “Ford is very pleased to have hosted the challenge again this year. Talking to our young visitors and seeing their creativity and enthusiasm was very rewarding.

“This event was a great opportunity for our higher apprentices to pull together in organising and facilitating the day as well as working with the school students in the community to develop their scientific, engineering and team-working skills.”

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, added: “These events are a great opportunity for pupils to gain an insight into the engineering and technology industries.

Aside from the competition, the students had the opportunity to find out more about the work that Ford do, and meet some of the apprentices currently working at the site.

“Essex has a strong tradition of engineering and manufacture, and we need to ensure that we continue to develop these skills within the county to ensure our economy continues to grow.”