International experience for Carpentry students


In July Carpentry & Joinery Lecturer Bill Kirkbright and three of our students joined forces with Bishop Auckland College in a collaborative venture to develop the students’ knowledge and skills of carpentry. 

The group took part in a two week residential visit to a specialist carpentry college in Biberach, southern Germany. During the visit the students were taught German carpentry skills and techniques and had some time to sample the local culture. 

New working methods 

Bill said: “This is the first time we have been involved in this programme and it has proven to be extremely beneficial to the students involved. To see how the Germans approached tasks and their working practices provided our students with interesting insights into different ways of working.” 

Trips to Stuttgart, Lake Constance and Ulm were also included in the visit. These provided an opportunity to explore a major German city, marvel at Germany’s largest expanse of fresh water and explore a historical city and its fisherman’s quarter with many traditional houses and buildings and climb the highest church spire in the world, all 768 steps! 

An inspirational experience  

John Watson, a Level 3 Carpentry student at Derwentside College said: “The trip was inspirational and eye opening, showing the beauty and history of this country. The visit has shown the skill and craftsmanship of the German carpenters that can be achieved from a simple toolbox and it was interesting to see all the traditions that are still followed today.” 

Bill added: “The visit was a tremendous success and we are grateful to our German hosts for their hospitality and willingness to share their knowledge and experience with our students. As a result of the success of the visit we are hoping to join forces with Bishop Auckland College once again and return to Germany next year so further students are able to benefit from the experience.”

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