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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Young carpenters swap Bishop Auckland for Biberach


Sep 28, 2016

The 12 students and four lecturers swapped their workshops in south west Durham for the Zimmerermann Ausbildung Zentrum in the south west German town, under the tutelage of Master Carpenter Christian Koch.

There they learned traditional German carpentry techniques including the double strut trussed roofing frame, using unfamiliar tools to produce a self-supporting model bridge. They also toured the carpentry museum and found out about the traditional techniques and tools used when restoring timber framed structures.

The visitors enjoyed work experience with German timber construction company Schafitel Holzbau and visited saw mill and timber product manufacturers Schneider where they got to see the sheer size and lengths of timbers and sheet materials on offer – something they would not see in the UK.

Free time was spent on trips to Ulm, Stuttgart, and Friedrichshafen on the shore of Lake Constance.

The visit was arranged by Jason Howe, Curriculum Manager for Construction and Motor Vehicle and North East Northern Region Chairman for the Institute of Carpenters, following several visits to Biberach and a return visit to Bishop Auckland by Markus Weitzmann and Wolfgang Schafitel from the Zimmerermann Ausbildung Zentrum.

It was funded via the European Social Fund’s education training programme Erasmus+.

The 12 students who took part are taking full time Level 2 Site Carpentry, and Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships in Site Carpentry. They were accompanied by Jason Howe, Curriculum Manager for Construction & Motor Vehicle, Carpentry & Joinery Lecturer Lawrie Chatterton, Clive Nattrass, Learning Support for Carpentry and Joinery, and
Construction Technician Gary Bainbridge.

Jason said: “We left a very positive impression in Biberach. We were always fully aware that we were representing Bishop Auckland College and carpenters and joiners across the UK.

“Each student said they loved the experience and would relish the opportunity to do it again. We are already booked in for our return visit in July 2017 and are very much looking forward to returning to the Zimmerermann Ausbildung Zentrum in Biberach.”

By Emily