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Vic Young drives closer relationship through education initiative


19th July 2016

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 second 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 – Tim Schandelle is working in the vehicle conversions division of the business, which develops unique conversions on new vehicles and customers’ own vehicles, as well as bespoke adaptions. His fellow student, Paula Obereichholz-Bangert, is gaining an insight into the business administration side of the company, including 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 Moller, tutor at Berufskolleg Werther Brücke, said: “Our students who came last year on placement gained 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 Tim and Paula.

“They are both working towards gaining a double qualification in their studies which is made up of academic studies at an A level standard and professional training as a Technical Assistant in Business Studies and ICT.

“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.”

Principal Matthias Floetotto added: “We place our students in companies across the world but to have a relationship with our sister town is special. There are a number of companies in South Tyneside who are at the forefront of what they do – Vic Young and Ford Engineering Group are an example of this. It is therefore important that we continue to build longstanding relationships with these companies and also South Tyneside College which have provided placements for students over a number of years and provided accommodation during their stay. I look forward to continuing to work together for many years to come.”

Vic Young, Managing Director at Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd, said: “Over the past 12 months we have continued to nurture our relationship with Dr Anke and the college, and from our business representatives travelled to Wuppertal last September for the student’s presentation. This has helped to cement an educational and industrial link between South Tyneside and Wuppertal.

“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 currently have 7 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.”

South Tyneside College is also helping to strengthen the bond between the two areas. The college has taken on two students who are working in administration roles, with duties including dealing with student enquiries, working in the college’s stationery shop and issuing books to learners. All four students will be living at Dr Winterbottom Hall – part of South Tyneside College’s ‘outstanding’ halls of residence – and the Beaches Guest House in South Shields during their stay.

Alison Maynard, Principal, Professional and Vocational, South Tyneside College said; “We are delighted to have been able to support this link between education and industry.

“The students have been working in our Learning Resource Centre and are being given plenty of opportunity to practise their English as well as gain customer service experience.”

Geoff Ford, Chairman of Ford Engineering Group met up with Dr Moller and Principal Floetotto, and agreed that Ford would take three Wuppertal students on placement in 2017, thus resuming a link that goes back some 20 years. Geoff Ford said “We were always really impressed with the calibre of Wuppertal students we’ve had in the past and we greatly look forward to be working with the college once more.”

The Oberburgermeister of Wuppertal is arriving on an official four-day visit on Saturday July 9th. His visit coincides with the South Tyneside twin town tour by Knapp Daneben the big community band from Wuppertal.

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