Pedro Garcia Ramon (Plant Manager)
Taking a job in a new country can certainly seem daunting, but can also open up a whole range of possibilities
We caught up with Pedro to see how his role has changed since joining from Saint-Gobain Spain.
Tell us about your Saint-Gobain career so far.
I have been working for the Saint-Gobain Group since 2005, primarily in Spain. I started as Continuous Improvement Manager (WCM facilitator) when the company was building a new manufacturing plant in Madrid. After three years I moved on to become the Production Manager at the oldest plant in Spain – so I started at the newest plant in my first role then moved to the oldest!
After some time there, I then went on to manage Environmental Health and Safety for all of Saint-Gobain’s gypsum businesses under Spanish delegation, supporting eight sites in Spain, two in Morocco and one in Algeria.
Recently, I decided to take the plunge and make the most of the international opportunities available to Saint-Gobain employees. I had job offers from Canada, the US and developing countries but I chose the UK. I moved here in August 2017, taking responsibility of the Continuous Improvement programme (World Class Manufacturing) for all of the gypsum sites in the UK and Ireland.
And what do you do now?
After six months supporting the different industrial sites, I was offered the opportunity to become Plant Manager at the Barrow site. We have over 150 direct people working here every day and it is the largest plaster production plant in the world. We carry out all of the manufacturing process from mine extraction, to delivery to the customer.
Why did you decide to move from Spain to the UK?
It was a mixture of personal and professional development, but also taking the opportunity for my family. Working in a big group like Saint-Gobain and business like British Gypsum is full of opportunities for both my family and myself. I have two young daughters and living in the UK gives them international exposure, which is a gift at a young age. We’ve settled in well and right now I can honestly say that we have made the right choice.
What kind of support and training have you had from Saint-Gobain?
Saint-Gobain has helped me to develop both as a person and professionally during my time with the group. In each role, I have been given many different opportunities to grow and improve. I attended the Saint-Gobain School of Management where they invested in developing my managerial skills. There are plenty of training courses available for different skills, whether that is leadership, coaching or technical skills.
What is it like working at the Barrow facility?
The Barrow plant is a great place to work with great opportunities for all of the people here. We have a diverse group of people, all different ages, backgrounds and nationalities. There is a strong focus on developing apprentices and bringing new talent to the company where they can learn from the more experienced team members, which I think is great. The Group adopts a very friendly and inclusive workplace culture where everybody is made to feel welcome.