A CONSTRUCTION project has taken a Continental twist thanks to an international link-up involving a Hartlepool firm.
Yuill Homes has welcomed a group of French apprentices to work on-site at its new Cecil Court development, in town.
The town housebuilder is involved in a foreign exchange programme in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education.
The apprentices are part of a group of 18 trainee bricklayers who have travelled from Les Compagnon du Devoir - an organisation of craftsman and artisans in Albi, near Toulouse.
They are taking part in a three-week apprenticeship training scheme to learn more about English bricklaying.
As well as taking part in construction workshops and English language classes at the college, the apprentices are spending four days a week on-site working with Yuill Homes’ tradesman to develop their skills in general brickwork.
Rob Burrell, head of production at Yuill Homes, said: “We are delighted to welcome the French apprentices on-site and hope that the experience of working in a new cultural environment will help to develop their skills in bricklaying.”
Funded through the European Community Leonardo da Vinci Mobility programme, the exchange will also see students from the Hartlepool college take part in their own work placement with French employers, when they travel to Les Compagnon du Devoir in March.
John Rudge, 20, who is an award-winning apprentice bricklayer with Yuill Homes, has been chosen to take part in the exchange.
He said: “French building methods are completely different to here in England, so I’m really looking forward to working with new materials and gaining new skills which will improve my knowledge as a bricklayer.”
Brian Hanson, work placement officer at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “We are extremely proud of the international exchange opportunities we offer our students and would like to thank the support and dedication of employers such as Yuill Homes who provide focused work experience opportunities which is excellent for young learners.”