North West Wales

Gwynedd welding students given jobs in German bottle factory

Thomas Allday, Dafydd Hughes and Sam Buffrey stand in a line on front of a corrugated wall in overalls Image copyright Grwp Llandrillo Menai
Image caption Thomas Allday (left), Dafydd Hughes (centre) and Sam Buffrey (right) were all offered contracts after a successful work placement

A group of sixth-form college students from rural north Wales have been set a new challenge - leaving home to live and work in Germany.

Eight of them were unexpectedly offered jobs at a Bavaria glass factory after a work experience trip.

The Wiegand-Glas site in Steinbach am Wald is most famous for making the bottles for J├Ągermeister.

The students from Coleg Merion-Dwyfor in Gwynedd now face the added task of learning to speak German.

Dylan Lloyd Hughes told BBC Radio Wales the student glass welders thought the trip was "to have a look and see how the other half live" - they did not expect to be offered a job.

"It's a big decision to move over there but the people were great. They bent over backwards to make us feel welcome," he added.

Dafydd Hughes, from Pwllheli, added: "They were impressed with all of us and gave us all an interview. They offered us all a contract there and then. It was a complete surprise."

The students were part of the European Union Erasmus+ scheme to help widen training opportunities.

They had all been studying welding and fabrication at the college's Dolgellau campus.

Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor welding tutor Gwyn Williams said: "This is an amazing opportunity for our students, and we're very proud that their skills have been recognised by such a leading company."

The students are all from Welsh-speaking parts of Gwynedd - and will now have to pick-up another language - with 170 hours of German lessons thrown in.

"I am still in shock and can't wait to get out to Germany, learn German and start working," added Sam Buffery, from Tywyn.

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