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College students engineer top work experience

Studenrts and staff outside Sotech.
Studenrts and staff outside Sotech.

Engineering students were given the chance to gain valuable work experience.

A group of 14 engineering students from East Durham College got to spend a number of days, over the last couple of months, gaining specialist practical skills at Sotech in Peterlee.

Students try some welding.

Students try some welding.

The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of engineered metal rainscreen cladding and architectural fabrication for the construction industry.

The students, who are all first years studying on a Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations course at the Technical Academy, based on the Peterlee Business Park, got to develop a range of new skills with Sotech,

These included tack, welding with aluminium, buffing, chamfer edging and other general manufacturing and assembly techniques.

The students were trained under the watchful eye of Sean Young, Sotech’s health and safety officer, who was extremely impressed with how quickly the students perfected the new manufacturing techniques.

Worked at a level above what I expected of first year students

Sean Young

Sean said: “The students worked really well and, to be honest, worked at a level above what I expected of first year students. They certainly exceeded my expectations.

“The students normally train with mild steel when welding at the college, so using aluminium was a whole new experience for them.

“They got to support our team on a bespoke project manufacturing some fabrications for a client of ours in Milton Keynes.

“We have been so impressed by some of the students’ performances, we are hoping there may be a couple of job opportunities for them in the future.”

East Durham College students visit Sotech.

East Durham College students visit Sotech.

Ian Parnaby, a member of the college’s engineering teaching team, added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for this group to gain some genuine new skills assisting on a bespoke fabrication project with Sotech.

“The students have shown a great attitude and the experience will certainly help enhance their CVs.”

He said he would like to thank Sean, as well as Tony Norton, operations manager, and Jamie Smith, estimator, for making the project possible.

Ian said: “We look forward to developing the partnership with Sotech further in the future.”