Xaber Ozerinjauregi, Saioa Loizaga - BATZ

"To attract talent it is important to maintain the Basque language and the character of the company"

The BATZ cooperative was founded in the 1960s to create jobs in the Arratia valley. It started out as a die-cutting facility and currently manufactures automotive components for the world's leading automobile manufacturers.

Xaber Ozerinjauregi, president of the BATZ cooperative and Saioa Loizaga, head of Materials development, have shared with us the history of the cooperative that next year will be 60 years old, a history that begins with the creation of a die-cutting factory in the valley of Arratia (Bizkaia) and reaches the present day designing and producing components for the most important car manufacturers in the world. "We started as a die-cutting factory, that was always the business at BATZ and if there is one thing we are known for in the world, it is for that. Unfortunately the die-making business has declined a lot over the years and about 30 years ago we started doing other things, we were making dies and we started making parts, components for automobiles. Today that's our biggest business, designing and making automotive components."

Regarding the Basque language, BATZ has been promoting and encouraging the use of Basque in the workplace for several years: 20 years ago it drew up its first Basque Plan; it is part of the EUSGARA project of the Errota Foundation; and it is also a member of the Basque Industry Platform, INDEUS.

Both Xaber and Saioa consider it essential to maintain both the Basque language and their Arratia roots, especially in the growing competition to attract talent: "In the past, we used to launch a job offer and we would choose ourselves. Nowadays it is the young people themselves who choose where they want to go to work, and I think it is important to maintain the Basque language and the roots of the company. And the young people themselves value it too."