Foyle MP Mark Durkan has launched the We Made It! competition for young people in Derry.
The project is working with local schools and industry to help young people understand how exciting and rewarding a career in manufacturing could be.
The competition will invite young people aged 13-16 to submit designs and ideas for a gadget, gizmo, toy or tool they’d like to see made.
Any invention, no matter how creative, is welcome and, as long as it’s realistic enough to be made, there’s a chance it could be.
The entries will be judged by Mr Durkan and the winner will be entered into a UK-wide competition judged by a group of organisations involved in manufacturing, including Boeing, the Manufacturing Institute, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Finmeccanica, Renewable UK, the Confederation of Paper Industries and Lloyds Banking Group.
The organisations are all partners in the Dods Manufacturing Dialogue, which is working to increase interest in manufacturing skills in schools.
The best entries will be invited to a Fab Lab, the outstanding facilities provided by MIT and the Manufacturing Institute, where their designs will be manufactured and brought to life.
Later this autumn, the Foyle MP will bring the winner of the Derry competition to a reception and awards ceremony in London where they’ll have the opportunity to meet the heads of the manufacturing organisations involved in the project and learn how to take their career in manufacturing further.
Mr Durkan said: “I’m very proud to be supporting this great project to help young people turn their ideas into reality.
“We desperately need more young people aspiring to high-level manufacturing jobs and gain a better understanding of how the industry and businesses involved in it actually works.”
To enter the competition, pupils can visit the competition’s website www.wemadeituk.co.uk