Two exciting new initiatives for students have further underlined the Welsh Government's far-reaching support for Wales Rally GB.

Maximising the benefits of hosting such a prestigious international event in Wales, a dedicated Industry Awareness event is being organised, as well as a special competition to inspire graphic design students.

With the support of key partners Flintshire County Council, Toyota, Deeside College, University of Glyndwr and the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW), the Industry Awareness experience will be hosted at the new WRC Rally Service Park built alongside the Toyota hybrid engine factory in Deeside.

The event will provide students with the opportunity to find out more about design, manufacturing and technology and will give them with an insight into careers that are available if they continue with their studies in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As well as being given a chance to scrutinise the high-tech cars competing at the forefront of the World Rally Championship, attendees will be able to work with the latest experiments from Techniquest, Technocamps, take part in the EESW Jaguar 2D Challenge and participate in a series of hands-on activities with local manufacturing companies.

In addition to the Industry Awareness programme, EESW is organising a rally-focused competition, open to all secondary schools and colleges in Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Government. Using either hand-drawn or computer rendered images, students are invited to choose between designing a portfolio of Welsh rally clothing or the livery for a Welsh rally car entering Wales Rally GB. The winners - selected from Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form categories - will be invited to the Wales Rally GB Service Park in Deeside as VIPs where they will be presented with Wales Rally GB jackets and other gifts.

"I'm delighted that we're able to host these two exciting events as part of the high profile Wales Rally GB in North Wales," deputy minister for skills and technology, Ken Skates, said, "Seeing the career paths which are available in the automotive sector will be an eye opener for the students attending and hopefully will inspire them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"The automotive sector in Wales is home to around 150 component and systems manufacturing companies and has 15,000 people employed in automotive manufacturing with an annual turnover of ?3 billion."

Bob Cater, CEO of EESW is another delighted with the initiative.

"The Engineering Education Scheme Wales is pleased to be working with the Welsh Government to maximise the impact of the Wales Rally GB and to raise its profile with the pupils of schools in Wales," he added, "The rally itself and the Industry Awareness days will promote high tech engineering and the graphic design competition, organised by EESW, will raise wider awareness of this exciting and prestigious event."

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