We are looking for you!

Does this look like a fun and challenging environment to you? Have a look at our vacancies to see if there is anything for you.

Welder and Sheet Metal Worker Martijn: ‘My work offers flexibility and I work on the most beautiful stainless steel products’

As a young boy, he used to accompany his father, who was a welder, during the holidays. Now, at the age of 31, Martijn de Heer has been wearing his Gpi overall for fifteen years. He works as a sheet metal worker and welder in the S-hall, where the smaller stainless steel tanks are constructed.

His father introduced him to the craft of welding and metalworking at a young age. Martijn noticed his own interest in technology early on. He shares, “I used to take apart my bicycle, for instance, only to put it back together again. The curiosity about how things fit together was already present back then. And at secondary school, metal & engineering was an easy choice.”

Education and beginning at Gpi

As his further education, he chose the BBL program ‘Constructiebankwerker’ (Level 2), with Gpi as his apprenticeship company. Later, he pursued two more BBL programs for Sheet Metal Worker and Fabrication Work Preparer (level 3 and 4). Martijn recalls his beginning at Gpi Tanks in 2008: “My father worked at Gpi, which is how I ended up here as well. He was even my mentor during the initial period. Currently, he works at a different Gpi location.”

Learning in Practice

Martijn also explains why working and gaining experience in the real business world is crucial in this field: “What you learn in school is primarily limited to working with steel. Stainless steel is a specific and more expensive material that you only learn to work with in an apprenticeship company. I find stainless steel to be the most fascinating material because it’s very clean, and you can create really beautiful products with it. You start with the simple components and gradually progress to more complex ones.”

A good start is half the battle

The engineers at Gpi create detailed designs, and work planners prepare the drawings for production. At the start of a new project, Martijn receives one of these design drawings. Together with colleagues, he examines it before getting started: “We first identify potential challenges and formulate a construction plan. Due to set delivery dates, our scheduling is always crucial. Therefore, I check beforehand whether the material and all components are available, whether everything aligns correctly, and whether the tank, for instance, still needs to go to the grinder. This way, I know what to account for in the schedule, and I commence production well-prepared.”

The complete picture

Martijn constructs each stainless steel tank from A to Z. He elaborates on his work and the tank assembly process: “I start with the bottom and then gradually build up the tank. Having a logical sequence during construction is important, ensuring that you have good access everywhere. Some parts I make to size first and other parts I attach and weld together. This way, the tank takes on more shape, and eventually, you see the final outcome. The great thing is, I have a lot of flexibility in my work. There’s room to decide how I approach tasks and when I work on each component. It’s a pleasant way to work.”

Team spirit

Since 2008, Martijn has witnessed the company’s significant growth, from around 35 colleagues to an organization with over 300 employees across multiple locations. He still enjoys his job: “I get along well with my team in the production hall. We have a personal connection and the atmosphere is great. Some of us, like me, have been here for quite a while, so we’ve shared a lot together as colleagues, and that also creates a strong bond.”


Even after fifteen years, Martijn is still engaged and continuously learning at Gpi. While he initially focused on components and simpler tanks, he has been evolving towards the construction of complex tanks, including those for pharmaceutical companies with high requirements. Martijn shares his thoughts on this: “The pharmaceutical work are the finest stainless steel products. My colleague has a lot of experience and is really a specialist in building tanks for the pharmaceutical industry, so I learn a lot from him. These products require a lot of know-how. That’s where I’m really challenged. I hold high standards for myself because I want the final result to be flawless.”