East Durham College Students at Sotech

East Durham College Students Benefit From Valuable Industrial Work Experience

A group of college students have recently benefited from some highly valuable real-life work experience with a leading metal façade manufacturing business in Peterlee.

The 14 engineering students got to spend a number of days, over the last couple of months, gaining specialist new practical skills at Sotech - 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 East Durham College’s Technical Academy, based on the Peterlee Business Park, got to develop a range of new skills with Sotech, including: All tack and MIG welding with aluminium, D and A buffing, chamfer edging and other general manufacturing and assembly techniques.

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

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 bespoke 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.”

Ian Parnaby, a member of the college’s highly experienced 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.

“I’d like to personally thank Tony Norton (Operations Manager), Jamie Smith (Estimator) and Sean Young for making this possible, and we look forward to developing the partnership with Sotech further in the future.”