A unique educational programme designed to improve the employability of young people across Wearside will return in 2019 with two new chairs at the head.

Work Discovery Sunderland has recently welcomed John Green, retail liaison manager at the Bridges and Donna Walker, headteacher at The Link School, Pallion and Tudor Grove, as co-chairs of the scheme.

John and Donna will chair the Business Schools Task Group, which runs the Work Discovery Sunderland programme and culminates in the annual Work Discovery Week.

The programme helps students develop skills and gain insight into various industries before choosing their career path.

It includes Work Discovery Week, a five-day event which offers career advice and experiences to more than 1000 youngsters from schools across the city which runs for the seventh time from 24-28 June 2019.

Since its launch in 2013, the initiative has worked with around 6000 young people to help steer them in the right direction as they prepared to leave school.

Mr Green has been involved with the scheme for a number of years through his role at the Bridges, and is looking forward to working even more closely with tomorrow’s potential workforce.

“Work Discovery Sunderland works hard to give young people as much help as possible as they try to negotiate moving into the world of work,” he said.

“I’ve had a great deal of involvement in recent years with events such as the retail sector days and I am very much looking forward to playing a bigger part in and helping to encourage the next generation of employees as they make what will be one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

“Bringing schools, students and businesses together is so important as we look to enthuse, motivate and train the workforce of the future.”

Joining John as co-chair is Donna Walker, who was recently appointed headteacher at The Link School, an alternative learning provider which looks after youngsters across the city who have special educational needs, disabilities, learning difficulties or are in a vulnerable or disadvantaged situation.

“I am always fully supportive of anything which works to make life easier for young people entering the world of work and I have been a supporter of Work Discovery Sunderland for several years,” she said.

“Anything that works to support for young people at this time in their lives is to be commended, and I am very pleased and excited to now be involved and hope I can help make a difference.”

Work Discovery Sunderland also host a number of sectors days and events throughout the year. Businesses wanting to get involved or who would like to find out about sponsoring the event should contact info@sortedpr.com for an information pack.

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