Where to look for and how to apply for work-based training such as an apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are very competitive and there are limited opportunities in science but the numbers of science-related apprenticeships are growing. Apprenticeships are available throughout the year and there is no fixed deadline, although science-related apprenticeships typically start in September.
You may need to apply directly to a company such as AstraZeneca or Pfizer through their website, or via your local college, university or training provider who could help find an employer for you. You will need to apply as if it was a job by completing an application form and submitting your CV.
Not all apprenticeships are advertised, so being proactive in your search and talking to local colleges, universities and companies about opportunities and what they offer is very important.
The Royal Society of Chemistry now accredit vocational courses following a rigorous evaluation process that helps students and employers choose high quality vocational programmes and provides assurance that those programmes provide the knowledge and competencies required in a competitive marketplace. It encompasses the standards prescribed within the professional awards of Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RSciTech). These awards recognise the skills, knowledge and professionalism of working scientists.
|Course type and level||Provider||Contact info/website||Accreditation period|
Advanced Apprenticeship Laboratory Technician with Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Applied Science
West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
May 2020 to May 2025
If you’re a learning provider, an employer or thinking about your own study options and want to find out more about accreditation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Royal Society of Chemistry collaborates with the following list of English colleges who offer science-related apprenticeships:
You can contact these colleges directly about the options that are available to you. No matter where you live, it is worth searching for local colleges and checking their website to see what they offer.
You can also search, register for alerts and apply for apprenticeships online. Each UK nation and the Republic of Ireland has their own apprenticeship service and website. Setting up alerts on your local apprenticeship website is useful. It is also worth checking your local websites and newspapers.
If you have the right to work in the EU you can find out more about, search and apply for apprenticeships across the EU on their Drop-in website, or follow on Twitter #ApprenEU.
You can generally search and apply for an apprenticeship on the same website.
In your application you will need to show that you will be committed to your studies, be able to demonstrate your skills, attitude and behaviours in a professional workplace. You will also need to talk with enthusiasm about science, why you want to do an apprenticeship with that particular employer and what you feel you will get out of it.
There is a lot of information online available about how to make a good application, including this UK government publication. You can also speak to your teacher, careers adviser or training provider who will be able to provide you with advice about putting together your application.
You can also visit the National Careers Service (England), Careers Wales (Wales), Apprenticeships Scotland (or Apprenticeships in Scotland (Scotland) or NI Direct (Northern Ireland) for advice on how to create a CV and complete an application form. In the Republic of Ireland, you need to register your interest in applying via the laboratory apprenticeships website.
You should create a different application for each company or training provider. Look closely at the apprenticeship description and demonstrate how you could successfully do the job using examples.
Holly develops new medicines at a global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca alongside completing her degree apprenticeship
Joseph helps ensure there is clean, safe, water for 15 million people in the UK whilst studying towards his chemistry degree
Christopher uses NMR to identify the structure of new and unknown chemical compounds to support the development of new medicines
Rebekka tests and finds ways to improve solar panels whilst balancing her studies towards her Foundation Degree apprenticeship