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West Suffolk College students learn 'drill skills of the future' on visit to global tool giant Festool



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The Suffolk headquarters of a global power tool firm gave the apprentices of today a window into the world of tomorrow thanks to an all-day work experience event

Festool, based in Rougham, is a world class inventor and pioneer of power tools and invited students from West Suffolk College to an exclusive workshop and tour of their multi-million pound facility.

This was the first time that an educational organisation has seen inside the company's new building which opened in the spring of 2019.

Apprentices and tutors from West Suffolk College with representatives from Festool during this work experience event. Photos by Danny Hewitt
Apprentices and tutors from West Suffolk College with representatives from Festool during this work experience event. Photos by Danny Hewitt

Carpentry and joinery apprentices who are being supported by the college got to have a look around the £9.5m building.

They also talked to employees and got to try out some top of the range of Festool power tools and created some cabinet draws as part of a ‘real life’ brief.

John Street, manager for Festool UK, said. “From our point of view, it’s important to work with colleges and education in general.

"Students are our future employees and business partners.

“In terms of our relationship specifically with West Suffolk College, we have worked with them for over 15 years and we rate them very highly.

"We have taken on apprentices in the past and our intention is to expand what we do together in the future.

“The fact that this was the first educational visit that we have hosted since lockdown speaks volumes as to the relationship that we have with the college.”

Mark Ames is the subject leader for construction crafts at West Suffolk College, said: "It was a really valuable exercise for our students to chat to representatives from Festool and gain this hands-on work experience.

"As a college, we value our relationships with big hitting businesses like Festool - and we are grateful for this fantastic opportunity.

"Now more than ever - education needs to work with industry experts so that we can give the right skills to the next generation of construction workers - so that they in turn can hit the ground running when they start their careers.”

James Buckle, 16, a carpentry apprentice from Stowmarket, said: “Festool were very welcoming and it was a great experience to try out some of their new top of the range equipment.

"The skills I’ve learnt today will help me in the future.”