EIGHT young apprentices are heading to Germany next week to gain hands-on experience with a major engineering company.

The trip has been organised by South West Durham Training Ltd (SWDTL) in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and will see the first year engineering apprentices undertake work placements at Siemens in Mϋlheim an der Ruhr.

Siemens manufactures generators for power stations and during the trip the apprentices will work with professional product designers to help improve their computer aided design (CAD) skills.

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They will also visit a car factory, coal mine and iron and steel works to witness further examples of engineering in practise.

Preparations for the visit have been under way since September, with the young men, who are aged between 16 and 22, attending weekly CAD and German classes, on top of their normal studies.

Dave Sansom, 18, from Hartlepool, is a tool making apprentice with Dormor Engineering in Middlesbrough.

“I wanted to go to Germany as I think it looks good on your CV and shows your employer you are keen to learn as much as possible,” he said. “The course has been really helpful.”

SWDTL has been delivering the programme, known as the Leonardo Mobility Experience, in partnership with Siemens Professional Education for ten years.

In June, Siemens will send 25 of its second year apprentices to Darlington. The visit will coincide with 60th anniversary of the town’s twinning with Mϋlheim.