Manufacturing Apprentice at GSK

Start Date:
Barnard Castle
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£22,000 annually
Review Date:
March 2016

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


Since being at GSK my roles have all been in the Dermatologicals Business Unit. I firstly worked as an operator as part of the team on the filling and packing lines, we were responsible for ensuring health and safety and quality compliance while finishing orders destined for a multitude of different markets. I then spent a couple of months with the Derms quality department where I worked with data that decided if batches met requirements for release. After working with quality I moved into Process Support where I mainly did project work, the day to day changed constantly but I was always required to collaborate with the other functions on site. I have recently moved into the final rotation of my apprenticeship where I am assisting the packaging team managers.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Some of the skills that I have picked up and improved throughout my apprenticeship are; communication skills, understanding of health and safety, greater understanding of maths, chemistry and physics (from completing a chemical engineering HNC), understanding of supply chains and logistics, problem solving and data processing.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have enjoyed my apprenticeship from the very beginning, furthermore I do not know of a single GSK apprentice that does not enjoy their time here. The best thing about the apprenticeship for me is the amount of opportunities that I am presented with. I will be sad to see my apprenticeship end.

4. How valued do you feel by GSK?


I feel as though I am valued just as much as any other GSK employee, if not more. The (wrong) mindset that many people have outside of work, that apprentices are cheap labour and there to do menial jobs has been disproved time and time again throughout my apprenticeship. I would recommend a GSK apprenticeship to anyone.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The first 18 months of my apprenticeship were based with an external training provider, since then my apprenticeship has included five different job roles within one business unit over the course of two and a half years. There is very much an awareness that apprentices are not be part of a head count and in my experience apprentices play a part in where they move to for the next part of their apprenticeship.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


My training providers were TTE and Redcar and Cleveland college, each of these training providers couldn’t have offered any more support and they were very easy to work alongside throughout my time at both.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


Ever since my first day at GSK there has been constant support, always from the offsite apprenticeship team, my team managers, my mentor and the other operators and employees that I have worked alongside. There is a large culture of recognition within GSK and it is very motivating to be acknowledged for your work.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


My salary and benefits was a lot higher than I expected at the beginning of my apprenticeship and subsequent bonuses and pay rises over the course of the four years have allowed me a very comfortable lifestyle. One thing that I am particularly glad to be able to opt into is the share schemes.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There are many, many opportunities outside of work, especially as an apprentice. I have been to numerous careers and STEM events over the years and taken part in apprentice challenges (such as the Brathay challenge). In the first year of my apprenticeship I went to Cleveland, Tennessee where I studied robotics at a local college and I have since had the opportunity to go to Bologna in Italy to do a FAT (Factory Acceptance Testing visit). Also, myself and a group of colleagues have recently signed up to do a charity skydive.

9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

I have had many opportunities while I have been at GSK and I by saying yes to them all I have had a very positive and enriching time here. Everyone I work with is very pleasant and not a every single apprentice that I know really enjoys their apprenticeship.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *

Do not just be aware of the GSK values but understand why they are important, be confident in yourself and understand that work that is done at GSK has an effect on the people that trust and rely on our medicines and products.

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