Transport Secretary Chris Grayling took a tour around Newton Aycliffe’s University Technical College (UTC) during his recent visit to Aycliffe Business Park.
Mr Grayling visited the South Durham UTC after celebrating the first Intercity Express Programme train rolling off the production line at neighbouring Hitachi Rail Europe.
The UTC also welcomed Ambassador for Japan in the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, Hitachi managing director Karen Boswell and manufacturing plant manager Darren Cumner.
They witnessed first-hand the range of facilities offered to students aged 14-19, who wish to focus their education around engineering and technology.
The tour included the main engineering hall, classrooms and an area on the top floor specially designed for students to engage in independent study.
UTC principal Tom Dower said: “We are delighted to welcome our guests from the British and Japanese governments, along with our partners from Hitachi.
“It has been a pleasure to show them round thpe building and I’m not surprised that they have been very impressed by the attitude of our students.
“Without the support from Hitachi the UTC would not be able to give young people the quality of education which sets them up for their future.”