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R&D Apprentice at Unilever

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£25,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2016

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Review Score


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


Research/Formulation scientist: involves scientific measurement of materials and products, formulation of consumer goods, managing stability data. Daily interactions with smaller research/project group as well as wider team within particular category. Responsible for individual research as well as contribution to project goals deadlines.

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


Developed scientific skills (including the use of scientific equipment, research skills and formulation skills), presentation skills, team work, organisation and responsibility. Qualifications include a HNC in Applied Chemical Science as well as a BSc. Chemistry degree.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy scientific research as well as giving the chance to move around to different departments each year. I have enjoyed each team I have worked in which has given me a varied learning experience. The Unilever culture is excellent as it is full of experienced professionals who are approachable and very knowledgeable. The apprenticeship exceeded my expectations and I have enjoyed thoroughly.

4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?


Always feel valued in each team I have worked in. Always looked at as a valued employee rather than a student or apprentice. Plenty of internal recognition by teams and line managers. Had plenty of opportunities to work on real innovative projects for real global brands as well as the chance to conduct individual research projects.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


Well organised. With each department there is a local induction and sufficient lab training. The spaced year 2 and 3 Uni timetable makes it sometimes difficult to focus on either University work or project work at Unilever but it gives a good insight to University life as well as the working world. Plenty of chances to meet with line managers and other internal advisers as well as tutors in University. Tasks delegated fairly depending on which team I have worked in. The programme is organised well and always improving.

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


Plenty of support in and out of University. All Uni problems (very rare) have been sorted by personal tutor. Tutor sorts out issues like they would with any other standard student. University has been very enjoyable.

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


Issues in work are sorted easily by line managers and apprentice community. Plenty of people to speak to in confidence. I have enjoyed moving departments and receiving help of a wide array of people from different backgrounds.

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


Salary package excellent. Railcard supplied for discount rail travel to University, location excellent and social costs good.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


Attended plenty of external events with work depending on the team I have worked in. They have been focused on team building and new strategy ideas for the company. Local events have also been excellent. There are plenty of sports clubs to join in work and plenty of activities to take part in.

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


9b. Why? *

Global company that takes care of their employees that has their foot in the door in hundreds of countries. Chance to develop your skills and contribute to their success. Chance to grow as a person.

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

Have an interest in the Science behind Unilever's products as well as their morals, plans and targets. Show an interest in the brands of Unilever and an appreciation for all of the different sectors. Be confident but relaxed as the environment is friendly and welcoming. I would have liked to be told more about the University timetable which is part time. You have lectures and tutorials with normal students taking Chemistry except it is just spread over more time, but you get the same degree and an insight into University life.

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