Changes to the City and Guilds qualification mean trainees now have to further demonstrate their practical skills.
The donated engines will allow them to work on a host of skills including replacing and changing head gaskets and timing chains, familiarising them with the latest automotive technology.
The motors comprised a 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine from a Vauxhall Corsa and a 1.6 litre petrol unit from an Astra.
Darlington College is currently working with 60 apprentices, five of who are placed with Sherwoods, which operates dealerships in Darlington, Stockton and Northallerton.
Students take level 1-3 City and Guilds and can also go on to study more advanced vehicle diagnostics.
Darlington College tutor David Hobson said: “Having the support of employers, such as Sherwoods, is invaluable as it gives the apprentices an insight into the world of work, the automotive trade and the latest developments in technology. It is learning with real purpose and these engines will be an incredible help.”
Sherwoods general manager Simon MacConachie added: “We have a long and successful history with Darlington College and are delighted to help in any way we can, particularly if we are able to encourage the next generation of highly skilled technicians.”