Research & Development Apprentice at Unilever

Start Date:
Bedford, Bedfordshire
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£20,300 annually
Review Date:
May 2019

Connect with Unilever

Review Score

9.2 /10

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


My role involves rotating around 3 different areas ( Ice Cream, Tea ,science & Technology) I am currently in S&T (microbiology) researching innovations on improving ice cream and tea. Whilst also making sure any food made on site is safe and cleared to able to have tastings on the products we make.

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


I have developed my knowledge on working in a global company and have also improved communication requires me to network with several employees from different teams which are sometimes in different countries. Microbiology specifically is a module in the degree I am studying also so it has benefited me a lot in terms of my university work.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I extremely enjoy working on the programme I am on. I am treated like a member of staff by all co-workers and they take my opinion seriously. There is also so much activities on site for example I also football every Wednesday lunchtime and there are events organised every week.

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


To begin with the first couple weeks could have been quicker to get me started, due to it being a relatively new programme a lot of things had to be set up. However since the first month it has been organised really well and I like it because it gives you a taste of a variety of different jobs that you could be involved in the future. Especially good for someone who isn't 100% set on what they would like to do.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


The amount of support is amazing, they give you enough space to become independent however you always feel like you can ask anyone anything and they will do their best to answer your question if not direct you to a person who can. In terms of well-being there are also a dedicated team to go to.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


Receive good support from the university, very well organised in between block work and regular feedback on assessments. Also annual visits to site are helpful to discuss things I need to improve on. They reply very quickly if you are ever struggling on an assignment that is set or if you are struggling understanding something.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


My qualification relates a lot to my role as it gives me a rounded knowledge on everything to do with the food industry. So it helps to have them foundations when you are working on something specific as it helps you to pick things up quicker. A lot have things already that I am working on have also come up on my syllabus.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


Yes there are loads to get involved with, I attend football once a week and volleyball also. There are yoga classes, there is a gym on site. Christmas parties, regular away day exercises to help team building and there are a team that organises work events such as charity runs and tea and cakes etc.

9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend?


9b. Why?

You get treated really well as an employee, they help support you so much in getting your degree and what I have learned only in the first 8 months of my apprenticeship is incredible. Working whilst earning a degree gives you so much experience and so many little things that are required to work well in a big company like Unilever.

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

If you're struggling to know what you want to do at university, and you prefer to work than to study. This is a very good option, yes you don't get the university lifestyle but very easy to meet friends on weekends and get a taste of it anyway. After 5 years you have more experience in full time work than most candidates.

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