Five students studying product design recently took on jobs at German manufacturing companies during an Erasmus trip to Helmstedt, after travelling abroad to stay with host families and experience life working in a foreign country.
The Bath College students were given five-day work placements with car manufacturing companies and a business producing self-build kit homes.
The trip, funded by Erasmus Plus, included a two-day cultural visit to Berlin, when the group visited the Bauhaus Museum of Design.
First year student Callum Wardle worked at IGS Development, a company producing parts for car giant Volkswagen.
The 18-year-old used CAD software to produce designs for car parts, which could be modelled with the help of a 3D printer.
He said: “The companies in Germany have special training packages for apprentices. In England it can be hard to get into a massive company and have the same experience.
“I was solving a real world problem. I made an engine mount for one of the new cars. They are going to pitch that and a few other ideas to Volkswagen.
“I wanted some idea of what I could do as a job in the future. I definitely enjoyed it, and the experience will be invaluable for university interviews.”
Erasmus Plus is a European Union programme offering opportunities for students to study, work and train abroad.
This year is the first time product design students at Bath College have received funding to travel abroad.
Bath College lecturer James Purslow said: “What was really good is that the employers seem to be a lot more set up to take on young people and give them a good experience.
“So that was fantastic, because they could drop right in. They seemed to have a lot of businesses that were appropriate to our course.
“It was a really good experience all round, we’re hoping to make it part of the curriculum and replicate it every year.”
Bath College is looking for businesses in Bath who can offer a five-day placement to German and French students aged 16 to 17.
Students from the Lycee du Premier Film in Lyon, France, are looking for hair and beauty and graphic design placements, as well as sales assistant roles.
German students from the Gymnasium am Bötschenberg, Helmstedt, are also looking to gain experience in fitness, hotels and handicraft.
To get in touch e-mail International Director Sarah Pigott on [email protected]