For many years, voestalpine Metsec in Oldbury, West Midlands, has been intensively recruiting and developing young talent and has every right to be proud of its successful training program. Just recently, Abbiegail Hill was awarded the leading British industry award—the Career Development Award in the Metals Industry Apprentice of the Year Competition 2019.
Sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers a.k.a. Wire Workers and celebrating its 20th anniversary, the competition is an annual awards ceremony for apprentices in the metals industry. The award is designed to encourage and reward exceptional personal development and commitment to professional advancement. voestalpine Metsec is delighted that apprentice Abbiegail Hill has won this year’s award. “This success–Apprentice of the Year–once again underscores the high quality of our internal training program and the company’s commitment to developing the full potential of its employees,” comments Training Manager, Steve Giles.
Over some 20 years, the voestalpine Metsec high-quality, structured training program has proven its effectiveness. It combines academic studies with practical skills and diverse professional experience and leads to recognized national degrees. The Oldbury site currently trains eight apprentices in engineering, IT, design, and sales—including Abbiegail Hill, who was nominated for the Career Development Award by voestalpine Metsec for her exemplary performance. After a 6-month, off-the-job intensive course, she successfully completed her BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment. She also completed a national Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Technical Support. “voestalpine Metsec’s confidence in Abbie is so high that she is currently working with steel construction engineers on real life projects,” Giles is pleased to report.
As one of the finalists in the preliminary round of the competition, Abbiegail Hill convinced the industry jury at UK Steel’s Sheffield office in a 30-minute presentation and an interview. Her path after graduation of finding a job and then attending evening school to become better qualified and find a better job (which led to her apprentice training at voestalpine Metsec) was a decisive factor in her success. “During my training, I learned and am still learning not only about all the functions and activities within the SFS (Steel Framing Systems) division, but also about the products and services we offer our customers. I experience new things every day and have access to many additional training courses that help me develop further in my chosen career,” says Abbiegail Hill, who is looking forward to the new career opportunities the company offers her. Since the beginning of September, she has been studying at Wolverhampton University to obtain a higher degree in Construction and The Built Environment.
Top talent factory
Many voestalpine Metsec executives have participated in the extensive training program in recent years. “Next year, at least 20% of the workforce will be apprentices from the program,” says Steve Giles. But the company’s commitment to encouraging and developing young talent does not end with apprentice training. voestalpine Metsec also supports employees who wish to continue their professional development and academic studies at a higher level, for example through (further) qualification by obtaining undergraduate and master’s degrees in relevant fields.
"I’ve never had so many opportunities to improve in my life."