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Emma Colbeck

Degree Level Apprentice – Laboratory Technician

Apprenticeship Experience

Apprenticeship Programme: Level 6 Laboratory Scientist

Current Job Title: Degree Level Apprentice – Laboratory Technician

What did you do before joining CPI?
I was originally planning on going to university to study full-time. Once I had decided that it wasn’t for me, I worked in retail for a little bit. This helped me increase my confidence. I then applied for this role, which a family member had suggested to me.

What qualities do you think CPI has as an employer?
CPI is extremely supportive and the company will do its absolute best to help you become the best person you can be; not just academically, but personally as well.

Why did you decide to do an Apprenticeship?
It wasn’t my original plan, as at college everything was more focused towards applying for university and we weren’t given much information at all about degree level apprenticeships.

How did you find out about the apprenticeship at CPI?
A family member had forwarded it to me.

What appealed to you about an apprenticeship as opposed to other further learning or study programmes?
Being able to relate the theory you are studying at university to the real workplace. Also, the fact that at the end of my five-year apprenticeship, I will have a degree as well as five years’ experience in a professional environment.

What was it that interested you in the subject area your apprenticeship is in?
I studied Biology and Chemistry at A‑Level, so I knew I eventually wanted to do something along those lines. Also, I wanted to feel like I was contributing to something big and I know that I can do that while being here at CPI.

What are your key responsibilities as an apprentice?
I am responsible for making sure all routine checks are carried out on pieces of equipment that are used regularly. I also lend a hand where I can with lab work when colleagues have lots of work on.

What is the best part of your apprenticeship?
Getting to work with a huge variety of talented people that are all passionate about so many different things. Also, being here as well as studying at university part-time helps put everything I am learning into perspective.

What are your future career goals and how will this apprenticeship help you reach them?
I’m not sure what I would like to do as a future career at this moment in time. I just know I want to help make a difference with my work.

What advice would you give to anyone considering applying for an apprenticeship?
Just go for it! University isn’t for everyone and by doing an apprenticeship you earn while you learn.’

What has been the hardest or most challenging aspect of your apprenticeship so far?
Honestly, nothing as of yet! Everyone at CPI is very friendly and are always willing to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. They are also very supportive when it comes to assessments at university and will do their best to help and support you in any way they can.

Please tell us any additional details about your experience of being an apprentice at CPI
CPI gives you the opportunity to take part in lots of internal and external training, whether it is training for a specific piece of equipment or training to develop personal qualities, such as leadership skills. I know that everything I do while at CPI will benefit my career and future self. The help and support from everyone at CPI is amazing. They are always willing to explain something I might not have fully understood whilee at university. It also helps when you can physically see the theory you are studying at university being put into a relevant, real-life context.