Published on 5th April 2012

Two apprentices from Cheltenham’s twin town of Göttingen are getting a taste of working in the UK during work placements at Cheltenham Borough Council.

The apprentices, from Göttingen City Council, started their placements on 19 March and are here for 6 weeks until 27 April. One apprentice is working with travel plus and parking services, while the other is helping out in the urban design team.

This apprenticeship scheme in Europe, called the Movida project, provides a great opportunity for young people to go abroad for an extended period of time as part of their three year apprenticeship and encourages an international approach to their careers as well as competence in their English language through a cross cultural experience.

The scheme is funded by resources from the European Social Fund and the apprentices continue to be paid by their German company, with no financial cost to Cheltenham Borough Council.

There has also been some success in placing Göttingen apprentices outside of Cheltenham Borough Council; one helped with the Cheltenham Film Festival and another had a very successful engineering placement with Spirax Sarco.

Annette Wight, twinning officer, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to work with our twin town on this project and to find placements for apprentices from Göttingen. I hope this is the start of many more apprentices coming over here. The two girls who are currently here are certainly finding it a very rewarding and worthwhile experience.  We also hope to encourage our apprentices to go and undertake work placements in Göttingen.”

Wilf Tomaney, urban design manager said: “This is an exciting opportunity on both sides. The girls have slotted straight in to our team - they have a very positive attitude towards their work and are keen to learn from their experience. For my part, there's much we can learn from the best European street design and it’s great to work with people who have first-hand experience.”

The apprentices, Martina and Laura, said: “We are glad to stay here in Cheltenham and are really enjoying our time here. We feel very welcome here and everyone is polite to us. We are involved in so many interesting projects.”