My name is Chloe, 19, and I have been an apprentice for just over a year now. I work at Wickham Laboratories as a laboratory technician in the Microbiology department undertaking a wide range of activities.
My responsibilities include the daily, weekly and monthly monitoring of different equipment, daily cleaning of the labs, various equipment calibrations and some routine testing. One of the main tests I carry out is that for bacterial endotoxin within a sample. Endotoxin is a component of some bacterial cell walls that, if introduced to the body, can cause a fever and potentially result in organ failure. The testing I do is essential to ensure the safety of certain medical devices.
I have worked in three different departments within the company during my apprenticeship and have enjoyed all of them, moving around gaining more knowledge and understanding as I progress. In each department there are different duties that have given me the opportunity to work alone as well as part of a team.
What I like most about the apprenticeship is the training opportunities I have received with the company continuously allowing me to learn new procedures and take on more responsibility as I gain confidence.
At college I am completing a level 3 NVQ Diploma in Laboratory Science, as well as the second year of my Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science. I only have to attend college four hours a week, this gives me plenty of hands on time at work
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship, I originally had plans to go to university but I feel like this was a better option as I can earn whilst gaining knowledge and qualifications. Not only this, but for the duration you are gaining confidence and experience in the area of work that you intend to specialise in and that's what a lot of employers look for. I'm excited to see how far it can take me within the company throughout the rest of my career.