Go Smarter has been working with secondary schools across the region on an exciting new project to broaden the travel horizons of pupils who are getting ready to enter the world of work.
The project will work with key groups of pupils over a number of weeks to facilitate short 'work experience' visits to key employment sites and training providers in the area.
Students will travel under their own steam using either bikes or public transport to show them an alternative to just 'getting in the car.'
Confidence and skills
The project also aims to give them the confidence and skills to travel outside their immediate area and comfort zone when they are looking for employment and training opportunities.
In Northumberland we are working with a group of 12 girls from The Blyth Academy in years 7 and 8 with some older pupils from year 10 acting as peer role models.
The Blyth Academy has used a grant to buy commuter style bikes which can be used to travel to school and for career visits. The school is keen to promote active travel to school and in particular cycling and aim to run this project every year with a new group of students.
Every other week the group will cycle to a different business or organisation and we hope that these experiences will encourage the girls to consider all the opportunities which are available to them when they start looking for work.
The girls have already cycled to The Port of Blyth, Kirkley Hall Agricultural College and Ashington Leisure Centre to learn about potential opportunities and what it would be like to work or study there.
Also in the pipeline are visits to Newcastle city centre and business parks such as the Cobalt and Quorum to learn about opportunities available. and also how easy it is to get to these places by bike.
In June, the group is planning a cycle trip to Amsterdam to find out all about the cycling culture in the city and bring some of the enthusiasm back to Blyth. The group is raising all of the money to fund the trip themselves.
If you would like to help or contribute towards the trip to Amsterdam, please contact Caroline Turner, Operations Manager at The Blyth Academy, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Career Ride project is being delivered by Go Smarter across Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham as part of the Sustainable Travel Transition Year Fund project, which aims to promote active travel across the region in schools, workplaces and communities.