Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prince Lends His Support to Region's Initiatives

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prince Lends His Support to Region's Initiatives

Article excerpt

Byline: Eleanor Steafel and Sonia Sharma Reporters jnl.newsdesk@trinitymirror.com

THE Prince of Wales gave one of the region's biggest employers the royal seal of approval on a visit to the region.

His Royal Highness walked the noisy production line at Nissan in Washington, where the LEAF model is made, stopping along the way to talk to some of the 6,700 engineers working on the cars.

The Prince, who made the trip to Sunderland in order to learn about how Nissan is creating career opportunities for young people in the North East, spent the rest of the morning meeting schoolchildren and apprentices at Nissan's Global Training Centre.

The Prince visited the on-site training centre, where more than 1,000 apprentices have learned their trade before going on to work at the plant since the scheme began.

Joseph Iley, who has been an apprentice for two and a half years, said the Prince was interested in why he had chosen this route rather than the more traditional path of university.

Bay, said: "Some of the lads Joseph, 20, from Whitley Bay, said: "Some of the lads were telling him that they had been to university but they hadn't liked it and explained that there's also so much debt involved in going to uni. This works much better for me and many of the others.

"A" t Nissan, you do one year pure studying and then four years where you come into the plant every Friday and learn on the job. It's much better that way."

Robert Coxon, from Peterlee, agreed, saying: "There's no written guarantee you'll have a job here at the end of the process because you have to pass exams but there's defi-nitely a lot more job security than in most places.

"The Prince seemed really interested in that and how we work."

The Prince also met schoolchildren from St Cuthbert's in Newcastle and Gillis Lane Primary School and the Venerable Bede in Sunderland.

His Royal Highness chatted to boys in year nine at St Cuthbert's about a project they are working on which could see them travel to Dubai as part of an international Formula One competition.

Oscar Graham, 14, from Durham, said the Prince was fascinated to learn about what they were working on. …

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