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Four Electrical Engineering apprentices from Neath Port Talbot College (NPTC) have had an international experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.
They travelled to Spain as part of an international exchange project organised by ColegauCymru/CollegesWales. The European-funded project, which was supported by the Leonardo da Vinci fund, provided an opportunity for the apprentices to travel to the Catalan area of Spain where they undertook two weeks work experience as well as studying at La Garrotxa Technical College.
During the visit, the apprentices, who are employed by local companies Crown Food UK and BOC Engineering, were able to acquire new skills and expertise whilst working with a number of Spanish employers. They had the opportunity to transfer their existing skills and knowledge to a totally new environment as well as experiencing new engineering systems and practices.
International Coordinator at ColegauCymru/CollegesWales, Siân Holleran, said: "We are delighted that the work placements coordinated by ColegauCymru and NPTC have proved a success for the four apprentices, their employers in Wales and the College itself. It augurs well for future international placements between Wales and other countries in Europe and we are looking forward to expanding these opportunities."
Marcus Batt, Engineering Manager at Crown Food UK, said: "This was a very positive experience for our apprentices who had the opportunity to experience how another country undertakes engineering activities. On their return, our apprentices were highly motivated and proud that they had participated in the experience. As a company, we feel that this experience has developed them individually and also as a team which will only benefit Crown Food UK in the near and far future."
During the visit, the apprentices were accompanied by Neath Port Talbot College's Head of Engineering, Mike Rees, who ensured that on-the-job assessment practice undertaken in Spain met the requirements of the Awarding Body. The apprentices also made good use of computer technology to regularly communicate with and update their assessor, who remained in Wales, in terms of the progress that they were making and the work-based evidence that they had gathered.
Mark Dacey, Principal of NPTC, said: "We are delighted with the success of this project. Not only have our apprentices further developed their own skills, they have also increased their language skills and inter-cultural skills from working and studying in another country."