Pupils buzzing after trip to surface mine

Far left, Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at Banks, with the party from the The Northumberland Church Of England Academy.
Far left, Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at Banks, with the party from the The Northumberland Church Of England Academy.

A group of teenagers were able to dig out plenty of information about careers in the engineering and mining sectors during a visit.

The party of Year 10 students from The Northumberland Church Of England Academy, which has campuses in Ashington, Newbiggin and Lynemouth, enjoyed a trip to Banks Mining’s Shotton surface mine.

It was designed to provide examples to the pupils, all of whom are members of its Gifted & Talented programme, of the different types of engineering and mining jobs done by the Banks team at the site.

They were given an insight into the company’s operations at Shotton and there were presentations about the creation of the nearby Northumberlandia landform, the ways in which the site is managed and restored and how Banks works with local communities to ensure tangible benefits result from its presence in the area.

The Durham-headquartered family business currently employs more than 200 people across the Shotton and nearby Brenkley Lane mining sites, which contribute around £35million to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain.

Mark Fox, The Northumberland Church Of England Academy careers advisor who led the trip, said: “The students were amazed by what they saw and they didn’t stop talking about it in the minibus all the way home.

“Our hope is that this experience will widen their horizons and get them thinking about how they can realise their career ambitions within their home region.”