THE mayor for the Tees Valley got some hands on experience at a heavy engineering firm as part of national apprentice week.

Mayor Ben Houchen did some work at Saltburn-based Tees Components, where Harry Tranter, a first year apprentice in mechanical engineering, talked him through his work creating components for key industries such as defence, renewable power, decommissioning and marine.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, with the verdict that his machining skills “require improvement”.

Mr Houchen said: "I’ll hold my hands up and say that I might be cut out for politics, but I’ve found out I’m a bit less suited to the hands-on work that Tees Components does. Tees Components is a fantastic local business that does a lot for apprentices.

“I might not have done brilliantly on my first shift as an apprentice, but that’s what an apprenticeship is all about, learning vital skills that our local businesses need while you earn, so that you can secure a good-quality career for years to come right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.