A handful of redundant engineers at electronics company Fujitsu have already enrolled on a one-year teacher training course at Durham University.
Of the 570 staff who will lose their jobs when the Newton Aycliffe factory in County Durham closes on 4 December, around six have signed up to study for the postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) with a view to becoming full-time teachers in September 1999.
According to training manager Jeff Thompson: ‘Maths and science are high up in the list of subjects that electronics engineers are good at.’
But he warns that teaching is not an option for all those whose first choice was to become an engineer.
‘It is an individual decision, but the company has made available some information to assist those considering such a move,’ he says.
Thompson envisages that some engineers who will gain a PGCE qualification will want to return to a career in engineering when the economy and job prospects improve.