A GROUP of German students are visiting east Durham as part of an annual exchange programme.

Nineteen German students from the school Stattliche Fachoberschule und Berufsoberschule in Altötting, Bavaria, will be spending two weeks in the North-East east getting work experience and visiting a number of the region’s leading tourist attractions.

The visit is taking place as part of an annual exchange programme, between the school and East Durham College - now in its 20th year.

All the German students will take part in an eight-day work placement in either Business Administration or Childcare.

In addition to East Durham College a range of other local employers, from the private and public sector, are helping to provide work placements including Seaward Electronics, The Peterlee Fire Company, Mecaplast Peterlee Ltd and Dean House, Shotton and Howletch Lane Primary Schools.

Stuart Wesselby, Principal at East Durham College, said: "The exchange programme is a very important initiative to both institutions as it offers a wonderful enrichment opportunity for the students, a large number of whom will not have had the chance to travel abroad and experience different cultures."

Staff from East Durham College will accompany 14 of their own students over to Bavaria in March at part of the return visit.