March 2019 sees Andrea Peart finish her career as a customer service representative working in our Special Profiles business in Skinningrove, a role she started in 1997. Andrea joined British Steel back in 1978 as a clerical trainee and since then, she's moved into a number of different roles across a range of our sites. We’re sorry to see her leave - we wish Andrea a well-deserved retirement and all the best for her future adventures!
Please tell us about your first role in British Steel and the journey you've taken to your current role
I started as a clerical trainee in September 1978 and for my first year, we were placed in different departments for 2 months maximum. I worked in Purchase Accounts in Steel House on our Teesside site, Redcar Area Workshops, Redcar Blast Furnace Offices and Cleveland Iron Mill Offices before discovering Utopia....I discovered the Payroll Department at Lackenby!
That’s where some 60 people or so literally were putting pounds and pence into pay packets to be paid out around various sites each Thursday. I overstayed the 2-month curfew here and stayed for about 18 months. With automation looming by way of bank payments, I moved to Skinningrove after the 1980 steel strike as a junior shipping clerk, exporting material around the globe.
Since then, I’ve remained in the Commercial team at Skinningrove, other than a short foray over to Darlington for 18 months or so. I became a customer service representative in 1997, both the job title and the role changing on a regular basis!
How many years have you been with the business?
I've been with the company 40 years, I started September 1978…when I was 7!! :)
What does your day-to-day role involve?
My day-to-day life involves customer contact. Working in the earthmoving sector, I deal with Caterpillar facilities both abroad and on site. As we manage their inventory, they could require advice on stock levels and planned rollings or perhaps enquire about amending an order or checking deliveries.
I make sure tonnage is available to meet vessel deadlines and required dates. I also check order values to make sure credit limit is sufficient to release tonnage for rolling / shipment.
Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?
The best part of the job for me is the interaction with other people; our department provides a unique link between both customers and the producing mill, with a whole host of others including Test House, Transport, Shipping and Credit Management. There’s always variety, always commitment and generally some humour!
What advice you would give to other people considering a career at British Steel?
My advice would be to take whatever opportunities are offered. I’m inclined to think there are more of these at a larger site, but certainly a smaller site provides more familiarity.
British Steel can provide many different environments; circumstances permitting, try more than one if you can! Ask for a site visit if possible, call in and meet the people!