EIGHT apprentices will get the chance to showcase their computer design skills to experienced engineers during a two-week work placement in Germany.

The trip, which has been organised by South Durham Training, in Newton Ayliffe, County Durham, will see the first year engineering apprentices work alongside product designers at Siemens in Mϋlheim an der Ruhr.

Since October, the apprentices, who are employed by engineering firms across the region, have been working with computer aided design (CAD) expert Rachel James to prepare for the trip, which is known as the Leonardo Mobility Experience.

They have also taken part in team building exercises and have been learning German.

Leonardo Mobility project co-ordinator Nigel Davies said: “The trip will provide a fantastic opportunity for them to gain further skills, which they will utilise in the workplace when they return.”

The apprentices, who are aged from 16 to 22-years-old, set off on Thursday, March 6, and will also visit German museums, iron and steel works and factories before they return to the UK.

Apprentice Jack Barker, 18, from Redcar, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn new design skills with some of Europe’s finest engineers.

"My role at Mitre Plastics in Stockton is in quality assurance, so I’m expecting to learn a lot from the high standards of German manufacture.”