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Being the first year that HFR has engaged in the Apprenticeship scheme, it only seemed right that we should spotlight our employees who have embarked on the process.

HFR Apprentices photo

Step up Charlie Ellison, Jude Humphrey and Kate Younger who are studying a part time BSc (Hons) in Chemical Science at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Charlie works in the main synthetic chemistry labs and is supervised while doing the same practical organic chemistry reactions that everyone else in the company does! Always eager to try new techniques, Charlie is a fast learner and has fitted in well at HFR.

Jake and Kate work in the busy QC labs at HFR and are learning to juggle the demands of practical analysis with meticulous attention to detail coupled with the fast turn-around required by the job. Kate was HFR’s first apprentice who decided to take up the scheme after trying University full time and not enjoying it. She is currently celebrating apprenticeship week by skiing in Italy (lucky so-and-so!) and was not available for comment and the bosses were reluctant to fly me out to get an interview.

Why have you decided to follow the apprenticeship scheme as a member of HFR?

CE: As an alternative to university, I was looking at other viable options where I could gain hands on chemistry experience, rather than mainly theory. HFR was the ideal choice due to location, the variety of experience offered and I like that it is not too big or too small, so you get to know everyone.

JH: I thought going down the apprenticeship route was the best way to start my career while studying towards a degree. Working at HFR gives me the practical skills I need to back up the techniques I’ve learned at Uni.

What are the benefits of working while studying?

CE: Working while studying allows me to gain invaluable work experience at the same time as having a full-time wage that gives me financial stability and independence. In contrast to my friends at university, I am gaining the same qualification whilst getting much more hands-on practical chemical experience and a better understanding of how the sector works. It allows me a perspective on what life will be like after education, out in the ‘real world’.

JH: Apprenticeships give you a couple of advantages over people who have only gone to Uni. The work experience gained and, of course, getting paid every month!

Would you recommend this route to gaining a qualification?

CE: I think this is the best route to gaining a degree as you come out of the degree already experienced in your selected field. Also, HFR gain someone trained in their procedures and chemistries, so it’s a win-win scenario.

JH: Yes, definitely. It can be tiring combining work with study, but the advantages well outweigh the bad points.

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