Four top apprentices, one employer and two members of staff from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London travelled 5000 miles earlier this month to develop vocational training and education links in China.

The aim of the trip was to share construction teaching techniques and involved the apprentices, College Director Phil Gowan, Head of School David Lambert, and John Holloway from TSG Mechanical Services, visiting partner college ‘Jinyu Polytechnic’ in Beijing.

Over seven days the construction apprentices - Luke Woodall, Andrew Walsh, Ashley Poole, and Dave Wood – spent time interacting with students. The group also attended seminars - where both Phil Gowan and David Lambert delivered a key note speech - and visited some of China’s most famous landmarks, including The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City and the Birds Nest Olympic Stadium.

Director of Vocational Skills and Employer Engagement, Phil Gowan, and David Lambert, Head of School for Construction and the Built Environment, spoke about the College to over 3,000 students and staff at the Polytechnic, as well as government representative Mr Hou Jisheng

Phil said: “The trip was a great success. It was a fantastic opportunity for students to find out how others learn and a great way to develop links with colleges across the world. We have invited students and staff at the Polytechnic to visit our Enfield and Tottenham sites and look forward to showing them around.”

Luke Woodhall who is currently working towards his Plumbing Apprenticeship Level 3 with R G Taylors found the trip inspirational.  He said: “It opened my eyes to a completely different approach and way of doing things. As well as seeing the amazing structures, which were very impressive, it was great to meet with students at our sister college.”
This is the second year the College has visited Jinyu Polytechnic, which teaches students manufacturing and construction and aims to develop new materials. However it was the first time students had attended and been given the chance to experience vocational studies in another country.

The College apprentices who took part in the trip were selected for their outstanding abilities in Construction. Luke Woodhall scooped an Apprentice of the Year College Excellence Award 2009 for his dedication to his craft and David Wood will be awarded an Apprentice of the Year College Excellence Award 2010 on 8 December at an awards ceremony at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice should visit the College’s apprenticeship training agency at or call 0800 678 3000 where they can speak to someone about apprenticeships in a number of areas including business and administration, construction and hair and beauty.

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