Nadine Fehmer and Johannes Stecking - both in the 2nd year of their apprenticeship at Hoffmann Ladenbau - ventured into a whole new world from 14 October to 2 November during their participation in the apprentice exchange programme.
As part of an apprentice exchange programme organised by Coesfeld District Craft Trades Association and Lincoln College in Great Britain they became acquainted with everyday working life in English trade businesses and gained many new experiences – both in terms of work and language.
“Our trainer, Mr Bernemann, made us aware of the apprentice exchange programme during our engineering course”, relates Nadine Fehmer and “it sounded really exciting!” The time finally arrived just a few weeks later: The two flew from Dortmund to London together with five other apprentices from the Coesfeld district; from there they travelled on to their new temporary home in Lincoln, around 240 kilometres away. Their accommodation was in a family-run bed and breakfast where the apprentices were warmly received. Talking of a warm welcome, the two also received a friendly welcome at their workplaces. Nadine worked for three weeks for the general contractor Gelder Constructions and Johannes actively assisted the maintenance department at the City of Lincoln Council.
A lot of experience
“When Nadine and Johannes told us about the exchange, we were immediately enthusiastic”, recalls Guido Kruthoff, CEO and HR manager at Hoffmann Ladenbau, and goes on to say, “For us as a company, the language aspect is of course very exciting in addition to the change in perspective.
In addition to the language, they both found the differences between the German and English way of working and the different areas of work very interesting. “Gelder Construction is primarily involved in house renovations – I had not previously worked in this area,” relates Nadine and Johannes goes on to say, “The maintenance department is essentially the “caretaker” of the city of Lincoln and performs a wide range of work. This covered everything from changing light bulbs to laying new flooring!” The two exchange programme apprentices were also impressed with the community spirit and the relaxed working atmosphere in English companies.
Accordingly, this was their conclusion at the end of the exchange. Both unanimously agreed that they will look back on this unique opportunity for a long time and can really recommend this experience to all apprentices.
The apprentice exchange programme is conducted at regular intervals. You can find more information here: