Conrad has gone from strength to strength since joining us as a 16-year-old apprentice in 2015. Earlier this year, he won an esteemed industry award in recognition of his paper that considered how he could advance his expert knowledge in the fields of wire drawing, wire processing and cold heading operations. Conrad's now well on his way towards a degree in Materials Engineering. Below he shares his journey and ambitions for the future...
When did you join British Steel and what's been your career path so far?
I joined the company in 2015 as an Advanced Technical Apprentice, studying, in parallel, to achieve my BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science and Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities.
I subsequently progressed to work as a Laboratory Technician at the Scunthorpe Rod Mill where my venture into further education first started within the field of Materials Engineering. I am currently working as Customer Support Technologist at the Rod Mill, working closely with the Technical and Commercial teams.
As part of my current role, having recently won an external award to support my professional development, I had the opportunity to visit a major European wire drawer to strengthen my understanding of customer specific requirements and the wider industry. This also included visits to our sister company FN Steel in Alblasserdam along with their largest customer within the cold heading sector; the market visits, in addition to the bi-annual trade exhibition we attend, provided valuable insight into market dynamics and downstream processing activities, which will be extremely beneficial in my role.
What are you enjoying about British Steel so far?
British Steel offers individuals the chance to rotate and work in a variety of roles – a great opportunity for both the individual and the company to ensure a good match between individual aspirations, skill set and development and training requirements. You develop an understanding of the wider organisation and develop a range of both practical and theoretical skills applicable to a range of roles.
Why did you choose to apply for a job at British Steel?
British Steel offered personal development alongside a full-time role, enabling me to ‘earn as I learn’ and continue studying while getting practical experience. The reputation of the company combined with the knowledge and expertise of the workforce was a definite draw.
I enjoy working for a respected industry name with colleagues who willingly share their expertise with the next generation of steelmakers.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
I gained a practitioner's awareness of both destructive and non-destructive testing equipment during my time spent in the labs and I'm currently using this knowledge to review our existing capabilities and requirements as part of our ongoing mill development. I took the time to visit several suppliers at Wire 2022 to gain an appreciation of current offerings and make proposals to the business about how we might move forward with equipment procurement.
I act as an intermediary between our Technical and Operations teams to progress trials and expedite new product development, working closely with our technical account managers. I have recently taken ownership of several Scandinavian and UK accounts from a technical perspective, liaising with Commercial colleagues to respond to enquiries.
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years' time with British Steel?
Having recently become more customer-focused within my role, I would like to use the next couple of years to consolidate my position within the Technical function working alongside our Commercial and Operational teams.
With the approaching mill enhancement, I am keen to make an impact and take part in developing our comprehensive product portfolio to attract new business and new opportunities.
What advice would you give to other people considering a career at British Steel?
I'd recommend British Steel as an employer for anybody who is looking to pursue personal development and growth – there are a wide range of roles available for passionate, hard-working and ambitious people to join our team.