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Business & Economy

Young engineer embarks on career with AkzoNobel

A chance encounter when receiving his BTEC results has helped a young engineer land a job with global paint manufacturer AzkoNobel.

In August, Matthew Thompson attended Pearson’s BTEC Results Day event at Ashington Campus’s STEM Centre to celebrate the ‘Class of 2020’ as they opened their results on BBC News.

There the 18-year-old met Jeff Hope, Head of Ashington Manufacturing at AkzoNobel, who was impressed by the young man’s aspiration, enthusiasm and maturity as well as the technical skills he had developed during his course.

The 18-year-old, who received merit-pass grades, said: “I always wanted to progress into engineering after I had left school. It was more of a future related choice and a field of work that interested me.

“I was lucky enough to meet Jeff Hope in the summer when myself and other students were being interviewed by BBC News.

“It was clear from what Mr Hope said that AzkoNobel was one of the best companies to work for, with fantastic morals and a real insight for the future. I was invited to visit the company and see first-hand some of the extraordinary machinery and technology they use. I was amazed and still am every time I walk into the factory.

“I have loved every minute of working at AzkoNobel, meeting truly fantastic people along the way. I want to thank Mr Hope and all my colleagues for this wonderful opportunity and for making a young lad feel so welcome.”

Following the conversation, and a glowing endorsement from his lecturer Keith Willis, Matthew successfully applied for a role as a Manufacturing Operator.

Jeff Hope added: “When I first met Matthew at BTEC Results Day, I was impressed with the aspiration, enthusiasm and maturity that he showed. When that is combined with having just studied and successfully completed his BTEC in Engineering, both personal attributes and educational achievements make people stand-out as having potential to add value to your business.

“A couple of weeks later we opened some manufacturing operator vacancies at our site, for which Matthew applied, and throughout the assessment centre and interview process he showed the same level of ambition and drive that I had originally seen during our first conversation.

“Matthew was also able to clearly communicate and demonstrate an aptitude for learning, solving complex problems and the capacity to respect and care about other members of the team. This made him an ideal candidate and a great cultural fit to join our team and build his career here at AkzoNobel Ashington.”