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Lantek scholarships kickstart engineering careers

Posted on 23 Feb 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 773 times.
Lantek scholarships kickstart engineering careersInternational Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated every year on 11 February and Spanish company Lantek contributed to the movement this year by offering internships, where young people under 30 have the opportunity for scholarships in Basque companies with subsidiaries abroad, backed by the Basque government.

Lantek had already experimented with the scheme and, in 2022, having recognised how it provided an opportunity to train and develop new talent, it welcomed four young people, two in the UK and two in Germany, all focused on customer-support engineering activities for Lantek’s CAD/CAM solutions.

Staff in the UK and German offices have played a major role in making the internships a success, helping them with language, transport, accommodation and generally making them feel at home in their new environment, while Lantek’s HR department worked with them for pastoral care, tutor meetings, and UK visas, ensuring that they felt happy and supported at all times. One of the young people decided to leave the programme after six months, but the remaining three, Leire Olaeta, Leyre Barcina and Itsaso Altuna, have progressed to become full-time Lantek employees.

Shortly after joining the Lantek UK office, Ms Olaeta and Ms Barcina were selected to be part of the Lantek Bend software competence team working alongside senior engineers. Ms Olaeta said: “Since the selection process started and the first meetings with Carlos, Rodrigo, and Joerg, we felt welcome and a valuable part of the team.”

Joerg Menzel, part of the Lantek UK team mentoring the two young women said: “We have a very mature office with people being able to cover nearly every aspect of our software portfolio. Leire and Leyre saw the opportunity and ran with it — their potential was great, and I am happy to say their contributions make the entire office better.”

In Germany, Ms Altuna was mentored by Gwenhael Born who helped her with language barriers and the journey from basic German to leading customer installations. He said: “For me, the most difficult part was to avoid micromanagement, giving enough space for her to develop but not so much that she felt left alone. In the end, it all worked out fine.”

Lantek is repeating the internship programme in 2024. Two young women Elene Arando and Naiara Azkarate have joined the UK office. Ms Arando said: “I was motivated to go out and discover new places and be able to continue furthering my skills. I heard about the opportunity of working abroad and I thought it could be a good option. I came to Lantek UK and the experience has been great so far, everybody at the office is very nice and I am constantly learning new things.”