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Jamie Redfearn - Level 6 Laboratory Scientist

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

"Having just completed a Level 3 apprenticeship in Laboratory Science, I was offered the opportunity to further my education with a Level 6 apprenticeship.

This was an excellent chance to open up more career options, as within the scientific field having a degree can be a barrier to entry for many jobs."

Why did you choose to study at NTU? What stands out about NTU?

"The focus not only on the academic success of students, but also with a view to their employability after completing a degree. There is a great deal of support on offer with a wide range of skills, such as CV writing and professional networking. The apprenticeship offered by NTU was an excellent course and its location allows a good balance between remote and onsite learning."

How do you believe this apprenticeship will affect both your current job role and future career?

"So far during this degree I feel like the knowledge I have gained so far has improved my abilities as an analytical chemist. It has also allowed me to progress into a new role which is more focused on instrument maintenance and system validation.

This role will continue to expand as my career progresses, due to retirement I will become solely responsible for these tasks for the site. Having a degree is key to being able to fulfil this role to the best of my ability."

How would you rate the teaching and support staff on this apprenticeship?

"I feel that the teaching has been excellent so far. There are different styles of teaching and even though I have my own preferences towards styles that suit my way of learning, I have never had any issues getting to grips with the content.

The support staff have also been very helpful; whenever I have asked a question it has always been answered quickly and solutions offered to any issues."

What do you think of the facilities available at NTU?

"The facilities, in particular the online learning resources, are very good. The ability to find almost any textbook or journal article online is an incredible useful tool for writing reports and for revision."

What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?

"When something I learn at university can be applied to my job and vice-versa. It is very satisfying when I can see the real impacts that this course has had on both my learning and work."

What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?

"I have developed a lot of knowledge into all fields of Chemistry. The laboratory work has also allowed me to use instrumentation that I do not routinely use at my workplace; I have also greatly improved my excel skills in these sessions also. I did not expect to be taught a programming language, python, for use in data processing."

Would you recommend doing a higher/degree apprenticeship?

"I would absolutely recommend doing a higher apprenticeship. It’s a great way to develop your career as it allows you to improve your academic skills, as part of the course, whilst still continuing your experience in the workplace. Being able to get a higher education without loans or fees is also a big positive."

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