Engineering talent scout - aged just 10

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It’s nothing new in football, but talent scouting children for a career in engineering is a revolutionary idea - and it was dreamed up by a 10-year-old.

Umair Najib has set up EnJunior to find, train and promote promising children aged 10 to 14 to companies in the sector.

Master Cutler David Gray with 10-year-old entrepreneur Umair Najib and a BMW i8 at Get Up To Speed at Magna.

Master Cutler David Gray with 10-year-old entrepreneur Umair Najib and a BMW i8 at Get Up To Speed at Magna.

And if it takes off it could see firms fighting over - and possibly paying big bucks - for unsigned talent, just like in the beautiful game.

Umair, of Park Hill, was manning a stand at Get Up To Speed at Magna in Rotherham where 50 companies had laid on an impressive hands-on show for 2,000 school children, dubbed by the organisers, ‘the biggest engineerin g careers event in the country’.

Umair, who attends Porter Croft Academy, said EnJunior planned to offer three hours of engineering training at weekends. The programme would also cover the movers and shakers and the history of the industry locally.

He said: “I thought just having 14-year-olds learning about how engineering was a bit unfair on the younger ones.

One of the ypoungsters tries his luck on the virtual luge run from Bromley Sports

One of the ypoungsters tries his luck on the virtual luge run from Bromley Sports

“I decided I wanted a job in the sector after the Fire Service came into school last year and showed us the equipment they use.

“Schools and parents will be able to refer children to EnJunior and the grounding they will receive will prepare them for work and help them decided which area of engineering to go into.

“Companies in Sheffield City Region will know there’s a group of kids who are streets ahead of their peers when it comes to offering work placements, or apprenticeships.

“They may even end up competing with rival companies for the best candidates.”

Jassin Alali explains University motorsports to Ben Ratcliffe

Jassin Alali explains University motorsports to Ben Ratcliffe

Umair, who is now seeking investors, has had help from the work-wise Foundation, which organised the Get Up To Speed event and arranges work experience for children aged 14 and up.

The fifth GUTS moved to a bigger space at Magna after four years at the Blue Shed, a former exhibition space at structural engineering firm Ekspan in Attercliffe.

There was even enough room for the full size biplane, the Spirit of Goole.

Get Up To Speed Magna Rotherham Virtual Tour De France event held by JE JAmes cycles for some of the visiting school pupils

Get Up To Speed Magna Rotherham Virtual Tour De France event held by JE JAmes cycles for some of the visiting school pupils