New Lab apprenticeship praised for meeting scientific demand

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A new science career pathway is being praised on its six month anniversary for developing future employees in the vital sector.

Scientific professionals play a vital part in UK public and private sector organisations, yet many employers find it difficult to recruit and retain good laboratory technicians and scientists.

As a result, The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) and CCB Training created a steering group which helped develop the delivery of two industry-specific apprenticeships in laboratory work that started in September 2017.

Six months on, the first of Level 3 and Level 5 apprentices are developing the core academic knowledge and practical skills needed by the sector.

“We have established a good working relationship with Cornwall College Group as one of our approved apprenticeships training providers,” explained Jonathan Cresswell FIScT, Head of Apprenticeships at The University of Exeter.

“Their sites across Devon and Cornwall have allowed us to offer four Laboratory Technician and Laboratory Scientist apprenticeships at our campuses in Exeter and Penryn,” he added.

The Laboratory Technician and Laboratory Scientist apprenticeships are an alternative way in which people can forge a successful scientific career, earning while they learn.

“Cornwall College provides the essential support, both academically and administratively, that we need to be able to employ lab technician apprentices at the University campus in Penryn,” commented Dr Adrian Watson, Technical Operations Manager at The University of Exeter.

“Without the partnership between the College and the University we would not have been able to integrate lab technician apprentices into our technical support teams and have them delivering front line support to our research programmes,” he continued.

Director of Science & Environment at the College, Mark Nason said that these apprenticeships represent a great way to undertake scientific careers without the concerns over amassing the associated debt with higher education.

“For employers it enables them to meet their needs, filling skills gaps, moulding and nurturing apprentices to enhance their workforce,” he continued.

“There is significant demand for science technicians within Devon, Cornwall and further afield, with many scientific and technical employers paying over and above the national minimum apprenticeship wage under 19 and national minimum wage 19 and over.”

Aimed at adults, learners aged 16 to 18 and those already employed in scientific settings, the Level 3 Laboratory Technician apprenticeship is an in-depth, practical approach to becoming a registered science technician, whilst being employed full-time in a laboratory setting and attending college one day per week.

The Level 5 Laboratory Scientist Higher Apprenticeship is suitable for school leavers and adults wishing to undertake scientific work-based learning in a wide range of organisations. The four potential pathways allow apprentices to become specialised to match their own interests and the needs of their employer, namely analytical science, chemical science, research and development and life sciences.

Uniquely, if you wish to remain in full-time employment and continue to study science to postgraduate level, The Cornwall College Group is able to offer progression all the way from the Level 3 Apprenticeship through a Higher Apprenticeship, part-time undergraduate science degree and part-time taught or research Master’s degree.

Apprentices study a recognised scientific qualification learning on the job and in college supported by cutting edge online laboratory simulations.

If you would like to find out more about taking on an apprentices and funding, CCB Training has a dedicated Apprenticeship Recruitment Service, which matches employers with their ideal apprentice. The team supports employers with selection and recruitment and helps individuals gain a career now through an apprenticeship with CVs and interview techniques.

To find out more contact CCB’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Team on, 0330 123 4785 or email [email protected]. Check out CCB’s website for information on the benefits of taking on an apprentice or visit TCCG website to view current