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East Midlands Chamber News

Derby College links with Osnabruck

Derby College has completed the first stage of a pioneering link with counterparts in the city’s twin city of Osnabrück – hosting four German apprentices who have spent six weeks working in local businesses.

The apprentices, who attend Osnabrück Technical College on day release, have worked at Bombardier in Derby, Tuthill Pumps in Ilkeston, Tarpey Harris in Denby and Evo Energy in Chilwell, Nottingham for the past four weeks.

The next stage will see ten students from Derby College’s motor vehicle, ICT and engineering academies gaining similar work experience in Osnabrück in March next year.

The twinning programme has been organised as part of Derby College’s involvement in the European Leonardo Lifelong Learning Mobility programme which enables students to travel abroad to gain work experience in their vocational field.

The German apprentices were visited at the last stage of their work placements this week by the Principal of Osnabrück Technical College Johannes Brockmeyer.

He said: “We are delighted to have forged the link with Derby College and to give apprentices who come to us on day release from companies in and around Osnabrück the opportunities to gain wider work experience in Derbyshire.

“Young people need to work in a global economy nowadays and this experience has helped them to see how other companies and countries do work, learn more about the culture and improve their English.”

Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “It is vital in this economic climate to give our students additional skills and experience of international work conditions to improve their employability prospects, improve their understanding of the world and contribute to the important college-wide policy of promoting diversity and widening participation.”

Students throughout the College will have an opportunity to work in Estonia, Denmark, Finland and Germany over the next two academic years.

Future Leonardo programmes will link staff and students in construction and horticultural landscaping with colleges and businesses in Greece, Finland, Croatia and France so that study and work experience exchanges can take place.

And fashion students at the College will also be working with their counterparts in Austria, Spain and Cyprus to investigate new eco-fashion skills such as recovering and recycling.

Derby College Project Coordinator Kadri Saat said: “The Leonardo programme gives staff and students at Derby College the opportunity to visit and learn about new countries and culture as well as develop new or additional language skills and gain valuable work experience in other countries.

“The exchanges both by our students and for young people from other countries have been extremely successful and we have secured further funding this year to give even more students the benefit of this exciting programme.”

* DNCC offers work placement for international students. Visit www.ispo.co.uk for details.