R&D Apprentice at Unilever

Start Date:
Port Sunlight
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£24,950 annually
Review Date:
14th April 2016

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


My role is working as a formulation scientist. On a day to day basis I work in a project team and independently to improve products such as toothpaste, shampoo and fabric conditioner. I am always interacting with staff internally and often need to call on staff outside my immediate project group for guidance so we can all improve our products together under different work streams.

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


I have earned an advanced HNC in chemical science in industry and am currently studying for a BSC (Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. I will be completing my degree in July. As well, the experience has allowed me to gain professional skills such as working in a team, communicating with third parties and presenting. I have learnt so much over my four years here and it has been very rewarding.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


The programme has been really challenging but at the same time has been really rewarding. I have enjoyed the experience in terms of the company culture, it's a really relaxed atmosphere and the staff at Unilever are really welcoming and encouraging of the apprenticeship scheme. It definitely meets my expectations for what I expected before I started

4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?


I feel very valued by Unilever, my managers are always very encouraging and recognise when I do a good piece of work. Some placements make you feel more valued than others - its nice to be given a higher level of responsibility and feel like you are part of the team, than to be a "pair of hands".

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


Very well organised. From the start, you know that you will do four year long rotations in four different departments and you also know how your studies will fit into this. It has good leadership and the apprentice ambassadors are particularly good at helping you out if needs be.

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


A good level of support. The university is very accommodating to the apprenticeship scheme and they are aware that we come in at year 2 so have missed a year of material. If wanted, the help is there and our personal tutor is happy to meet up whenever we want.

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


Support from our employer is great - they are really happy to give us the time we need to do our University work. We also get one day off per exam to revise which is a good help in the exam period!

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


The salary is one of the best parts of this apprenticeship. Now being in my final year I am being given a very good salary which meets my costs perfectly. It is a good scheme whereby hopefully you will be employed afterwards at an equal level.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There is a good social life at Unilever. There are also good social clubs and fitness events that you can attend if you are interested! It gives you opportunities to get to know the team outside work.

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


9b. Why? *

I would recommend Unilever's apprenticeship scheme to a friend because it gives you opportunities to get valuable experience whilst earning your degree. The benefits of the salary and the funded degree are also a massive help when you leave school. It's also good to be around experienced people who can help you through both your work and studies.

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

The one tip i would give an applicant to Unilever, would be to show you are motivated, have a passion for your subject area and are willing to work hard at both University and work. It's good to demonstrate that you can work well under pressure, and that you are prepared to give up some of your own time if necessary when it comes to studying whilst working.

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