A Quality Engineer Apprentice at Norton Canes based REAZN UK has been nominated for recognition at the Birmingham Apprentice Awards 2020.

Matthew Jones, who joined the company on his Apprenticeship in September 2019, was put forward by his assessor from South Staffs College.

Formerly The Brock Metal Co. Ltd and now part of the global REAZN group of companies, REAZN UK is a strong supplier of zinc die-casting and galvanizing alloys to the European markets, with a leading position in the UK. The company has a total annual production capacity of approximately 45.000 t and has also been supplying the zinc industry with specialist materials for more than 30 years.

Last summer, following a period of investment in automating processes and factory modernisation, REAZN UK Managing Director Gerard Keane felt the time was right to recruit the next generation of engineer into the company, within the role of an Apprentice Quality Engineer. As a result of a collaboration between Next Gen Makers and South Staffs College, Matthew Jones was successful in gaining the Apprenticeship.

Since starting with REAZN UK, Matthew has made an extremely positive impression, working within the companies Quality department alongside Quality Manager Gill Russon.

REAZN UK Managing Director Gerard Keane comments: “We are very pleased with how quickly Matthew has settled into his role within the business and also how quickly he has been able to pick things up and start to make positive contributions. Matthew has made a great start and whilst he did not make the final shortlist this time, it is no surprise that his progress has been nominated for recognition by his College Assessors.

“Quality and sustainability are of huge importance to the REAZN group. Globally, REAZN supplies the casting industry with a wide range of die and spin casting alloys, and has an unrivalled reputation for metal quality, technical support and service, working to exacting standards”.

Reflecting on his experience so far, Matthew adds: “My role as an Apprentice Quality Engineer is mainly related to quality control measures and quality assurance, which sometimes consists of laboratory analysis. The company is great to work for, it is very forward thinking and proactive and as a result the work I get to do is challenging.

“I think I have been able to contribute to the Quality department by being an extra pair of hands and by offering a different perspective. I like the fact that I get to have a certain level of influence over production efficiency through my work and the role is really varied which I enjoy”.

To conclude, Matthew explains why he would recommend other young people, particularly those already studying Engineering at College, consider Apprenticeships in the sector: “Engineering is so vast there is something for everybody. Getting into Engineering, I have come to see how important a role companies like ours play in shaping the world around us. I would definitely recommend more young people follow this route”.

Gerard Keane adds: “Matthew joined at a very exciting time for the company, as we became part of the global REAZN group. He now has a fantastic opportunity to progress within a career working for a global leader and an organisation that genuinely cares about sustainability.

“For example, recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction. By upcycling zinc containing by‑products from the industry into prime grade alloys, REAZN contributes to minimizing the environmental impact of zinc use by reducing the dependency on zinc metal produced from ores. Mining and transporting less ores help to save natural resources and lowering the carbon footprint for the whole industry.

“Every by‑product of our recycling process can be used as raw material in another industrial application which means that REAZN generates no waste requiring landfill disposal”.