Big Big Project Goes Down to the Wire in Sucessful Fifth Edition

Business & Invest | Published on: 28th June 2024

A project which sees young people go toe-to-toe in a challenge to develop their skills and link them to future careers has seen a thrilling finale.

The fifth annual edition of the Big Big Project saw teams from eight of our region’s schools battle it out in a business challenge focussing on key projects in the Tees Valley.

In a closely fought final between Laurence Jackson and Ian Ramsey Schools, Laurence Jackson retained their title by half a point.

The scheme is designed to help develop young people’s skills while also engaging them in potential future careers.

Judges from the Combined authority, DWP, AltLabs and Jacobs were impressed with the standard of all presentations – with key projects including Teesside Airport, The Teesside Freeport and digital recycling all to the fore.

The Big Big Project is delivered in partnership with global technical consultancy firm Jacobs, which has a base in Stockton-on-Tees. It is supported with additional assistance from DWP.

The programme aims to develop communication, confidence, leadership, teamwork, resilience and problem-solving skills, all vital to succeed in the world of work.

Leah Oakley, a pupil from Laurence Jackson, said: “I have really enjoyed being a part of the project because it has helped to boost my confidence.

Fellow student Amy Crawford added: “I think the project is great and I got to learn a lot of things that I didn’t know about and to be part of such a kind team.”

Business mentors from Balfour Beatty, PD Ports, Meldrum Group, Aecom, AngloAmerican, Turner & Townsend, px, Mammoet and Teesside University were also on hand through the project to support schools through the competition.

Second-placed Ian Ramsey School are also set to visit Teesside Airport after their presentation featured the site.

Julie Gilhespie, Chief Executive of the Combined Authority, said: “We’ve got some great projects in our region which will need our upcoming generations to ensure their success.

“It’s great to see our students thinking about what we’re doing, putting together plans and presentations, and boosting their own skills which are all crucial to any successful career.

“Congratulations to the students at Laurence Jackson School for claiming the top prize once again, and thanks to everyone who played a role in giving pupils insight into the exciting career choices they have ahead.”

Katie Rotherham, Jacobs’ Stockton STEAM Lead and Civil Engineer Degree Apprentice, added: “Jacobs is delighted to again be spearheading The Big Big Project in partnership with the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

“It’s clear to see from the presentations that the students have worked exceptionally hard to develop an understanding of the region’s integrated economy, sustainability and local society impact through their team projects. We hope this year’s competition has helped local students add relevant, meaningful skills crucial to any successful career and understand just how diverse and interesting the career opportunities here in the region are.”

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