French students spent a month working at Fenwick’s Newcastle store as part of an exchange programme coordinated by International Newcastle.
Eight business and retail management students from Montpellier Vocational Training School came to the North East to experience the department store.
It is now hoped the visit will be reciprocated with Newcastle-based students offered experience in France.
Zélie Guérin, co-director of International Newcastle said: “At International Newcastle we work on developing effective international relations with partners across the world, to benefit the city and the region.
“The students are enjoying this tremendous opportunity and feel it will give them a head start when they come to apply for jobs. They’re working on the sales floor and learning about customer service in a top department store, as well as having the chance to practise their English Language skills.”
Marion Shilston, training manager at Fenwick said: “This is the second year of our partnership with International Newcastle. The students are very enthusiastic and our staff enjoy helping and working with them. Last year was a great success and we’re finding that this group of young people are equally committed.”
The scheme is part of International Newcastle’s ‘Better Visits’ service which supports businesses, schools and communities to host visitors to the region.
In their free time the students were taken to see the Newcastle Eagles basketball team in action and stayed in accommodation at Northumbria University.
Noureddine Sebbar, vocational training co-ordinator in Montpellier said: “We would now like to develop the partnership further and welcome young people from Newcastle on work placements in Montpellier. We could never have got to this stage without International Newcastle’s involvement.”