1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a lab analyst apprentice I work in the chemistry release labs. This involves testing a variety of products before they are released to market to ensure that they meet the required specifications. As part of my apprenticeship I will rotate around various chemistry labs to gain skills in testing different products and using different equipment.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
To begin with I had limited practical lab skills but my practical lab skills have developed a lot. I have improved my team working and problem solving skills as this is a daily part of my job. Also, I'm working towards a foundation degree in Applied Chemistry.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my apprenticeship, there is a lot of variety and always opportunities to get involved in extra activities. The programme is challenging but much more rewarding than just studying at university. The best bit is learning about the business/industry and gaining valuable experience as well as working towards a foundation degree.
4. How valued do you feel by GSK?
My opinions and ideas are valued in the same way as any other employee so I really feel like one of the team. I am encouraged to get involved with additional tasks that contribute towards the lab alongside testing which is helping me to develop myself and become more well-rounded.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I get 1 day a week to complete my uni work which is good. Sometimes it takes a while to get trained up in new things, especially when the lab is busy as there’s no set training plan. I do enjoy it and get trained in things, I just have to keep asking sometimes.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I do all my uni work online so I teach myself the majority of it. The lecturers can be a bit slow at replying to emails which is tricky when you’re trying to teach yourself but a coordinator from the university visits every few months which I find useful. They are happy to help with any problems and are easily contactable if needed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We have an apprentice lead at my site who is happy to help with any questions or problems. My manager encourages me to make the most of opportunities that are offered to me and the other people in my lab are willing to help explain my uni work if I’m struggling with anything. I feel happy to ask anyone I work with if I have a problem.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I moved away from home for the apprenticeship but find that my salary covers my living costs quite well. I am required to budget but manage fine on my salary. Apprentices also receive a good benefits package which is in line with other members of staff.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities for apprentices including various trips to other sites and team building days where we get to know other GSK apprentices from across the country. At my site there is a large network of apprentices so we can choose to participate in challenges to improve our site. We are also encouraged to participate in local and national STEM/careers events which work supports.
9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I really enjoy my job and get a lot out of it. It's interesting to learn so much about the business and there are so many opportunities so you gain a real variety of skills.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *
Do your research into the company’s values/expectations and how you align with and have demonstrated them, think of a few examples. Don’t worry if you don’t have any work experience just make sure you have researched the role and can show that you are passionate about working here. Try not to be too nervous for the assessment centre, it has a more relaxed atmosphere and everyone is very welcoming. Show your enthusiasm – ask questions!
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