THE first batch of students have completed an innovative new apprenticeship training programme.

Sixteen students have taken part in the two-week Apprenticeship Academy delivered in partnership between Derwentside College and global power company Cummins.

Each undertook a range of assessments, including completing a health and safety qualification, as well as developing employability and interview skills to present themselves for a final interview with Cummins.

The students also had to deliver a short engineering presentation to Cummins’ managers.

On completion, successful candidates will enrol on a four-year apprenticeship programme at Cummins as well as gaining a level 4/5 qualification at the college.

Cummins product development director Tom Partridge, who described it as a successful recruitment model, said: “This exciting new partnership is reshaping our approach to selection and recruitment, and how we attract the high-quality apprentices that Cummins need to remain competitive in a global environment.

“I have been hugely impressed with this group of students.”