AkzoNobel graduates first engineers from its training programme

07 December 2023

AkzoNobel had three recently graduated engineering students complete its North America Graduate Engineering Trainee (GET) programme and are now working in various roles in the company.

Brian Nkenke, an IT Operations Officer based in High Point, North Carolina; Matt Ebanks, a Project Engineer in Waukegan, Illinois; and Audrey Tan, a Process Engineer in Huron, Ohio, secured positions with the company following an impressive two-year stint in the North America GET programme launched in 2020.

The three GET graduates developed their leadership, project management, data analysis, technical and paint manufacturing skills across multiple AkzoNobel sites in North America.

Matt, 27, said: “It was very fulfilling to be a part of this extensive training programme, which provides a unique experience to travel, grow, and meet new people at different locations.

“The chance to work with different teams and within different business units provided a diverse learning experience and an opportunity to broaden my skills and perspectives.

“Being one of the first to go through the programme was definitely a privilege.”


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The GET programme combines on-the-job experience and classroom training and was first started in South Asia in 2019, followed by implementation in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the Americas in 2020 and 2021.

More than 70 trainees, including 16 people in North America, have enrolled on the programme designed to prepare participants for key roles in managerial or experts’ positions at AkzoNobel.

Audrey said: “It was exciting to be able to graduate from the GET programme, where it has challenged and given me a variety of opportunities to grow and become a well-rounded engineer.

“What made the GET experience an even better one was being among the first graduates of the programme.

“We grew and discovered together on how to make the best GET programme for our future trainees.”

Each of the graduates received a trophy which doubles as a working clock with a rotating chain.

Richard Kenmuir, AkzoNobel’s Regional Project Manager for the Americas, and oversees the North America GET programme, said: “I’m so proud to see our first group of North American trainees graduating from this amazing programme.

“The GET programme combines on-the-job training and classroom projects to equip the trainees with vital skills and experience used in a variety of roles.

“We are preparing for the future and always on the lookout for new talent.”

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