South Shields-based motor dealership Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd, has continued to strengthen links between South Tyneside and its twin town Wuppertal, in Germany by helping two German students gain an insight into the UK’s automotive industry.

For the third year running, the firm has taken on two manufacturing engineering students from Berufskolleg Werther Brücke, a college of vocational training and higher professional education in Wuppertal.

The students are currently on an eight-week internship - Can Aka and Patrycja Gawlik, are gaining an insight into the whole company, including vehicle conversions, finance, marketing, customer service and general administration. Vic Young is working closely with tutors from Berufskolleg Werther Brücke to ensure the work the students are undertaking will complement their academic studies in Germany, as well as give them experience of working in England.

Dr Anke Möller, tutor at Berufskolleg Werther Brücke, said: “Our students on placement are gaining an invaluable insight into the automotive industry and real life experience of working and living in another country. This played a key part in helping them complete their studies and I’m sure this will be the same for Can and Patrycja. The team at Vic Young are so welcoming and friendly, it has a real family atmosphere which enables our students to instantly feel settled and part of the team.” 

The initiative is led by Erasmus+, the European Union programme for young people to study, gain work experience or volunteer abroad. This year, Erasmus+ is celebrating its 30th year - with an estimated 600,000 people from the UK studied, trained or volunteered abroad through Erasmus+ from 1987-2017.

Joining Vic Young in the initiative is both South Tyneside College and Ford Areospace, who have also taken on two students each for an 8 week programme.This week, Vic Young Ltd were visited by Dr Anke Möller, tutor at Berufskolleg Werther Brücke and Gerhard Schmidt, specialist for mechanical engineering and manufacturing technology. During their visit, they met with Vic Young Ltd, the Mayor Councillor Olive Punchion and Mayoress Mrs Mary French, along with the students from Germany working with Vic Young (pictured).

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Olive Punchion said: “The Mayoress and I were delighted to visit Vic Young car dealership to meet their German visitors and students and to hear more about the firm’s commitment to the exchange programme.

It’s wonderful to see local businesses supporting foreign students with their studies and work placements, particularly those from our German twin town of Wuppertal, as it helps us to further strengthen the long standing links between our two communities.”

Vic Young, Managing Director at Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd, said: “At Vic Young we are advocates of training and development and have our own apprenticeship scheme in place which creates opportunities for young people from the local community. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having students over from Germany with us in past years and will hopefully continue to do so in the future! We currently have many apprentices working across our servicing, body building and administration departments. Their practical experience working onsite is complemented by gaining the relevant qualifications from local training providers and South Tyneside College.”