Industry day 2019

Students from the Getxo I senior school visit Metallo’s facilities as part of the ‘Industry Day’ of the Biscay Metal Industries Federation.

On November 6th, a group of 8 students (3 girls and 5 boys) studying at the technological branch of the Julio Caro Barjoa (Getxo I) Senior School visited Metallo Spain's facilities in Berango. This 'Industry Day' was organized by the Biscay Metal Industries Federation. The initiative, which is supported by the Basque Government and the province of Biscay, is aimed at giving young people, on the verge of choosing the direction of their careers, the chance to find out about industrial companies.

As a result, 1,000 students were able to learn more about facilities, work processes, specializations in different companies. 33 classes of 23 schools around Biscay were given a view of the current state of Basque industry and its technologically advanced and sustainable activity.

At Metallo, the students were welcomed by the CEO of Metallo Spain, Valentin Casado. He explained to them in a brief presentation about the company and its activities in recycling of non-ferrous metals. This makes it possible to return non-ferrous metals such as copper and tin back to the value chain, making metallo an important partner in the circular economy.

Casado also showed them how the processes were carried out. Both the mechanical used to recycle cable and the pyro metallurgical processes based on reduction-oxidation reactions which “do not use fossil fuels.”
The students also visited the factory’s departments such as the quality control of the raw materials such as slag, scrap metal and filter dust.

“It's been a very interesting visit, and we've been able to see, in a very practical way, what it is to work for a company like Metallo, and how everything works”, highlighted Nahila, one of the students. For her, the most interesting parts of the visit was the furnace and “seeing what comes out of metal scrap, such as copper”. “I liked the work of the company, especially the fact that, apart from manufacturing metals, they manufacture it directly from recycling”, she commented.

Another student who took part in the initiative, who hopes to become an IT engineer in the future, explained how “very interesting” it was to know that “so close to home, they are doing all these things that allow the reuse of many metals”.

“Visits such as this one are very interesting for students, who can see the industry live. At school, or at university, you learn many things, but this is the real industry”, highlighted the tutor who did the visit with them, Gotzon Bengoetxea. For him, the most alluring part was “how big the company is” and “how very systematized their processes are”. “The Basque Country has always been an industrial land, and if we want it to continue that way, we need people who are interested in the industry and who want to work in it”, he says; tutors and other people can help and “guide” students, but “they must choose what they want to do in the future”, and this is why initiatives such as this one are “very valuable” to help them take their decision.

At the end of the visit, Susana Matute (the head of Human Resources) explained to the students the type of staff they are currently looking to recruit at Metallo. She stressed the importance of knowing English and mentioned the company’s problems finding suitably qualified technical staff, particularly those with vocational training qualifications.