How Sunderland’s automotive French connection is bringing benefits

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Doris MacKnight; Adrian Morris, AMAP; Mayors Consort, Mr Keith MacKnight, Coun Harry Trueman, Sunderland City Council, Lorraine Dunn and Steve Miller of Lear Corporation; Ronan Bedu, PolytechNantes student with Lear; Florian Morin, PolytechNantes student with AMAP/Frontier Technical; Trevor Hardcastle, Frontier Technical; Nicolas Andrieu, PolytechNantes student with Unipres; Cllr Mel Speding, Sunderland City Council; Chris Wilson, Unipres.
Mayor of Sunderland Coun Doris MacKnight; Adrian Morris, AMAP; Mayors Consort, Mr Keith MacKnight, Coun Harry Trueman, Sunderland City Council, Lorraine Dunn and Steve Miller of Lear Corporation; Ronan Bedu, PolytechNantes student with Lear; Florian Morin, PolytechNantes student with AMAP/Frontier Technical; Trevor Hardcastle, Frontier Technical; Nicolas Andrieu, PolytechNantes student with Unipres; Cllr Mel Speding, Sunderland City Council; Chris Wilson, Unipres.

Three of Sunderland’s leading automotive centres are benefitting from international expertise while helping to drive forward the ambitions of students from the city’s French twin town in France.

Lear Corporation, Unipres and the University of Sunderland’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Automotive Practice welcomed students Ronan Bedu (at Lear) , Nicolas Andrieu and Florian Morin from leading engineering school Polytech’Nantes in Saint-Nazaire.

We’re proud to be an outward-looking international city, and our links with our twin town in France are strong and growing.

Coun Doris Macknight

This is the ninth year that Sunderland companies have taken part in the programme to host students from the town.

The exchange programme offers the companies three months of work and consultation from a recent graduate and gives each student experience in the kind of industries they want to work in.

Unipres’s Chris Wilson said: “Nicolas has been a real asset and it has been a pleasure to work with him. He’s only been here three months, but he has achieved an incredible amount during that time.

“We are already seeing the benefits of his work and colleagues will continue to take it forward and implement his changes in our systems. It has been a really positive experience mentoring him and he did become part of the team.”

Florian Morin said: “The three months that we have spent in Sunderland have been amazing experience for me.

“Not only have I got to work on cutting-edge electrical engineering research alongside experienced colleagues from Frontier Technical and AMAP, but I have also had the time to get to know Sunderland.

“It will be hard to say goodbye now, but we are all so grateful for the experience that we have had here and all the work that Sunderland has put into making it such a success.

The partnership between Sunderland and Saint-Nazaire has been active since 1953. Twinning activities, many of which involve young people, are organised by Sunderland City Council’s international team and currently involve schools, Sunderland Youth Parliament, the University, and the Foundation of Light among other partners.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Doris MacKnight, is delighted with the continued involvement of companies in the well-established programme: “We’re proud to be an outward-looking international city, and our links with our twin town in France are strong and growing,” she said.