01 Mar 2019
GSK has praised the Institute for Apprenticeships for their support in an industry-leading initiative to develop apprenticeships for the healthcare profession.
Stephen Stewart, the firm’s global apprentice lead, has been working with the Institute as part of the Life Science and Industrial Sciences group since its launch and is now its chair. These groups are known as Trailblazers for their ground-breaking work in developing apprenticeships in different fields.
"Working with the Institute has been really, really positive,” he said. “The relationship managers [at the Institute] have been excellent – they have given us excellent support along the way."
"At the start of the process, we were finding our feet and were trying to understand some of the rules and fixing things as we went along. Now it is working faster, it is working better and that is down to the relationship managers."
"This is really exciting because apprenticeships didn’t exist in those areas before. This is completely new, it is completely trailblazing."
Mr Stewart acknowledged that there are still issues to be resolved, but regular contact with their relationship manager is helping the group to work through these.
Major firms involved in the Trailblazer group include Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Ineos UK, GSK, and Lotte Chemicals UK.
The Life Science and Industrial Sciences Trailblazer has so far developed and secured approval for nine new apprenticeships.
These range from the level three laboratory technician launched in 2014, to the level six science process/plant engineer (degree) which became available to apprentices this year.