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Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship

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Apprentice helps build the future of science and innovation

23-year-old Apprentice, Jack, secured a unique position at STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council) as Laboratory Technician and now supports the future of scientific research and innovation.

Based at Daresbury Laboratory, Jack is proud to be one of 58 apprentices working for a government-funded organisation, who carry out research and innovation in key areas of science, including particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and scientific computing.

After completing his A levels at College, Jack originally planned to progress down the university route to study Chemistry. He enjoyed the subject but was unsure whether he was willing to commit three to four years of study to it, alongside the financial costs involved.

Jack began researching and discovered apprenticeships, a practical route best suited to him, as it would allow him to earn a wage but still complete a Chemistry-related qualification on the job. He was surprised when he came across an apprenticeship vacancy at STFC. The uniqueness of the role appealed to him and matched his career ambitions.

Within his role, Jack is responsible for managing the I-TAC laboratories, on-site tenants and various pieces of laboratory equipment. He also works within the Campus Technology Hub, focusing on 3D printing.

Speaking about his role, Jack said, “We work with a lot of start-up companies within the I-TAC Labs (Information Technology Access Centres), companies who may not have enough money to invest in their own equipment yet, so they come to us to rent them out. Most of the equipment and machinery is extremely expensive so requires daily calibration. Part of my role is to ensure these are functioning, in use and report any abnormalities.”

Before COVID-19, Jack was attending College one day a week, but now completes his studies virtually. He said, “The College has been very accommodating and the tutors are great at what they teach. The qualification has definitely helped me gain the knowledge I need to carry out my role and support the tenants we work with.”

Apprenticeship Scheme Coordinator at STFC, Jonathan Aghanian, said, “STSC invest a lot in apprenticeships as we see it as an investment for the future of the business. An apprenticeship is the best model for the business as the work we do is unique, and we find it hard to find suitable candidates who have that ready set of skills to enter the workforce. An apprenticeship gives us the perfect balance of employing someone who is eager to learn and develop and allowing us to teach the skills throughout the apprenticeship, learning in the workplace.

Speaking about the advantages of his apprenticeship, Jack said, “I would highly recommend an apprenticeship route - the experience you learn on the job is invaluable and working alongside other professionals and apprentices within your role is great.”

Jack is due to complete his apprenticeship in June and hopes to secure a full-time position with STFC and expand his knowledge working within the Campus Technology Hub.

Are you interested in completing an apprenticeship? Find out more by visiting our Virtual Open Event platform.