Strengthening relations and creating talent pools: Imerys signs partnership with the BUCT Beijing university
As Imerys grows in China and Asia, so too does its presence and reputation as a leading employer in the region. The recently signed academic-industrial partnership with Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT) – Paris Curie Engineer School opens the doors to international careers for young talent with valuable local insight and skills.
Connections foster new connections – the agreement was born out of an existing internship program with the Chimie ParisTech Graduate School in France, coordinating the French part of the French-Chinese Institute (Chimie Pékin). When Anouk Galtayries, professor at Chimie Paristech and French Dean of Chimie Pékin, learned about Imerys’ activities in Asia and China, she was eager to know whether there was any interest in partnering with the BUCT to propose French-style chemical engineering internships to local Chinese engineering students. Signed in February this year the partnership strengthens Imerys’ regional Science & Technology activities through the outreach of French higher education in China. She states: “Meeting Imerys has proven to be of great human and scientific value and above all a wonderful opportunity to offer our Beijing students access to internships at the Imerys Technology Center (ITC) in Tianjin, which is close to Beijing.”
The French-made internship program, due to start in September 2022, has been designed to match European equivalents, in line with European Union standards, allowing local students to gain international experience before deciding to take their skills abroad. Interns will also be offered French classes and will be able to work in french halftime as their language skills progress.
“The focus of the internships are, of course, very closely related to the work we do at Imerys, with interns able to choose from a number of main domains to target, namely Material Sciences in R&D, or Chemical, Polymer and Bio engineering,” adds Romain Peyre, Innovation Process Engineer at Imerys. “Practically speaking, the university will propose a pool of candidates for open internships and we will find or create placements for them. At the same time, when we have openings, we will contact them for suitable candidates. The students will most likely be bachelor’s students in their fourth year, or master’s students in their sixth year.”
“The timing of the agreement is ideal given the recent expansion at our location in Tianjin, China, which we are keen to populate with talented minds with local insight,” explains Elisa Ronchi, Imerys HR Business Partner Manager. “Recruitment in China can be a challenge given that people tend to be quite reluctant to relocate. The program allows us to build up a talent pool and strengthen our presence in Asia, where we are less well-known as a leading employer in mining and engineering compared to other geographies.”
Chris Parr, Refractory, Abrasives and Construction Science & Technology Vice-President concludes by placing the agreement within the greater vision of Imerys’ research and innovation: “Industry-academia partnerships need to be seen as critical catalysts for technological growth as a whole. Imerys is able to access work-ready talent with specialist knowledge and practical training while our partners at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology-Paris Curie Engineer School in Beijing are able to apply their expertise to relevant technologies and challenging problems.”