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Thousands of young people to benefit from ground breaking engineering programme with global rail giant

Press Release   •   Oct 11, 2018 10:18 BST

Hitachi Rail engineering

Thousands of young people to benefit from ground breaking engineering programme with global rail giant

  • Almost 3,000 children aged 5-11 from Ashford, Doncaster, Bristol, Newton Aycliffe and West London to learn about engineering
  • Unique partnership announced between Hitachi Rail, Primary Engineer and 50 schools (LIST OF WEEK 1 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS BELOW)
  • Programme aims to inspire the next generation to meet the UK’s growing engineering skills gap

Hitachi Rail is launching a brand new educational programme with Primary Engineer that will see 2,700 5 to 11 year olds learn about engineering with the help of experts in the field

The announcement comes during Rail Week (8-14 Oct) and the initiative is part of the Year of Engineering campaign. It aims to help tackle a serious shortage of engineers in the UK. On current projections, there will be a gap of 55,000 engineers and skilled workers by 2020, according to the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce, with not enough qualified people to deliver key national projects like HS2, Heathrow expansion and Crossrail 2.

The scheme will eventually see 50 schools from Ashford, Doncaster, Bristol, Newton Aycliffe and West London partner with engineers from Hitachi’s nearby train depots.

This week the teachers in the first four locations are receiving their training and this will be followed by a further session at Hitachi’s train manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, where new fleets of trains are being delivered for passengers across the country.

This is the first time that Primary Engineer has partnered with a train manufacturer to develop one of its school programmes.

The global rail giant recognises the importance of working with schools to raise awareness of the range of exciting careers that are available in the industry. It chose to partner with Primary Engineer due its excellent work over the last 13 years creating engineering programmes spanning Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education institutions.

During the joint sessions the teachers and the Hitachi team will learn how to deliver a curriculum-linked rail engineering project that a whole class can take part in. The KS1 project will use a shoe-box train while KS2’s train will be electrically-powered.

The project supports practical STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and maths) and offers primary pupils an invaluable opportunity to work directly with Hitachi engineers in the classroom.

There is also a competitive element to spark the children’s engineering ingenuity and creativity. And as a forum to celebrate their engineering skills and achievements, teams of pupils from the schools will attend two celebration eventsin 2019 run by Primary Engineer to test the rail vehicles and showcase their efforts with the Hitachi Rail engineer judges.

Year of Engineering Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said:

“The Year of Engineering is a chance to show young people that engineering is all around us – from how we keep in touch to the ways we travel. Working in partnership with industry and the education and charity sectors to inspire young people from all backgrounds is at the heart of the campaign, and this new programme from Hitachi Rail and Primary Engineer is a fantastic demonstration of what that can achieve.

“By bringing children across the UK face to face with real engineers and engineering challenges, I have no doubt that the programme will inspire many young inventors, creators and problem-solvers to take a closer look at the amazing ways they could shape the future as engineers.”

Hitachi Rail Managing Director, Karen Boswell, said:

“We are absolutely committed to developing UK skills in order to grow our business and support the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

“To be able to give thousands of young people a chance to be inspired by the pioneering work we do at our factory and depots across the country is fantastic. STEM education is critically important and I’m thrilled that Hitachi Rail is the first train builder to join in a partnership with Primary Engineer to support the great work they do in our schools.”

Founder and Chief Executive of Primary Engineer, Dr Susan Scurlock, said:

“The opportunity to work with Hitachi Rail using their trains and engineers to inspire children, teachers and the wider community has been incredible. We are very proud to be taking this project into schools and opening a whole new area of careers to young people.”


Participating schools in week 1

Brookfield School
Burnt Oak Primary School
Deal Parochial Church of England Primary School
Goat Lees Primary School
Herne Junior School
Phoenix Community Primary School
Repton Manor Primary School
Sandling Primary School
Tiger Primary School
Toll Bar Primary School
Saint Oswald's Church of England Academy
Southfield Primary School
North Pole
Ashburnham School
James Allen's Prep School
Links Primary School
Loughborough Primary School
Old Palace of John Whitgift School
Oriel Primary School
Preston Park Primary School
Stoke Gifford
Fosse Way School
Old Sodbury Primary School
Saint Helen's Church of England Primary School
Manor Brook Primary School
West Town Lane Academy
Westbury-on-Trym Academy
Wick Church of England Primary School

About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) is a global transport specialist with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains, offering quality maintenance and developing innovative new technology. As a leader in rail we’re improving transport for passengers, connecting communities and helping to boost the UK’s economy.

Having delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is being made at our purpose-built factory in County Durham and entered passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme. With a proud reputation for innovation, Hitachi is at the forefront of using new digital technology to enhance passenger experience and enrich Britain’s railway’s heritage. Hitachi rail is growing rapidly, employing over 2,000 people and soon to be operational at 15 locations across the UK.

For more information about the company, please visit: .

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