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Students welcome German engineering trainee for a season

Posted: 12 October 2023

An engineering masters student from Germany has been welcomed by staff and students at West Nottinghamshire College’s Engineering Innovation Centre for extended classroom volunteering experience.

Jan-Hendrik Voss, from Osnabrück, northwest Germany, first visited the college in 2017 with his peers from Osnabrück’s Technical College through the Erasmus+ project, which is a European social-mobility programme for education, training, youth and sport.

Then, as a 19-year-old student, he was able to see how the college’s engineering curriculum functioned compared to his classes in Germany, while also attended a six-week engineering internship at Doughty Precision Engineering Ltd in Daybrook, Nottingham.

Since then, Jan-Hendrik went on to gain his qualifications in automated engineering, concentrating on electricity and energy, and electronics and automation, followed by a Batchelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Hochschüle Osnabrück.

He is now studying his Master of Education in Vocational Education – Electrical Engineering and English – and has chosen to return to West Notts College to gain experience in tutoring for apprentices module, from this September to February 2024.

Jan-Hendrik said: “I'm really enjoying developing my skills with these students and I’ll be able to use them back home in Germany. The next step for me will be to complete my teacher training qualification.

“The specialist area of electrical engineering is very interesting and there is plenty to explore in this subject. It’s been great to pass on my knowledge to such a variety of ages in the classrooms and I’ve tried to keep the learning as interesting as possible.”

Jan-Hendrik met with the college’s principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley for a tour around the campus, while discussing the types of engineering studies in both British and German colleges and how Jan-Hendrik is finding life in the college and the local area.

And when Jan-Hendrik isn’t busy in the classrooms, he is making the most of sightseeing in the area. He said: “I drove here in my car so most of my weekends I spend visiting the lovely Peak District where I go hiking. My girlfriend has been to visit me and we enjoyed time in Nottinghamshire and in York.”

Jan-Hendrik will be going home to his family when the college closes for Christmas but will return in the New Year when he will continue to teach the engineering students and visit the other college campuses.

Head of engineering Ben Toule said: “Jan-Hendrik is doing really well, and he’s integrated into the team brilliantly. He is very friendly and approachable and has built up a good rapport with the students both in covering smaller sessions or with our larger groups.

“When he becomes a fully-fledged teacher, he will be a real asset to the students in Germany.”

The college’s bid writer and project co-ordinator, who works for the college’s Erasmus+ project, Kadri Saat, said: “We are all really excited to welcome Jan-Hendrik back to Mansfield and offer him this volunteering opportunity within our engineering department. He’s proving to be a popular addition to the team and we hope he enjoys his time with us.”

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