TWO major East Lancashire firms took part in an international apprenticeship showcase of the latest hi-tech manufacturing technologies.

Leyland Trucks organised a tour for 23 apprentices of its production facilities in the town.

The youngsters included 12 on an exchange visit from Germany, and 11 British students from BAE Systems which has factories at Samlesbury and Warton.

During their visit, the group took part in an open question and answer session with Leyland design engineers. This was followed by a 3D CAD demonstration on the use of various technologies employed in the design and development of a truck, as well as how the assembly processes and facilities are designed around it. The group then went on a guided tour of the factory to see up close how Leyland Trucks assembles its award-winning vehicles.

The German party, made up of apprentices from MTU Aero Engines and Airbus, is touring top industrial sites in the north west.

The BAE Systems group is due to travel to Germany to visit an Audi plant and other factories in the Munich area.

Ivan Shearer, Leyland Trucks’ HR director, said: “We were glad to be able to demonstrate the advanced nature of our assembly facility at Leyland. We are sure our visitors left with a positive impression of the skills here and will benefit from the experience.”