Nick Eggleton, 19, and Kieran Grubb, 21, are both second year apprentices at Bath ASU studying Science Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship at Level 3. We spoke to both Nick and Kieran about their experiences so far.

Bath ASU produces over 3,000 aseptically compounded injectable pharmaceutical products each day for hospitals and patients across the UK who are fighting cancer, living with chronic disease or in need of pain relief. Through their scientific and technology capabilities, the team continuously develops new and innovative methods to improve products and services.

Nick can you tell us about your educational history and how your decision to do an apprenticeship came about?

I studied for my A-Level’s at Corsham School in Biology, Psychology and History. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go to University so I waited until results day to decide. I felt I couldn’t commit to University because I was worried I wouldn’t get a job at the end of the course. It was my Mum who told me about apprenticeships and that I could apply online, although she went to University herself she saw that an apprenticeship could be a great option for me.

What would your advice be to somebody considering an apprenticeship? Do you think there any myths which need to be addressed?

I think students are being pushed to go to University but when you do an apprenticeship you are getting paid as well as learning, if you went to University you wouldn’t get the on the job training. So, I think unless of course you want to become a doctor for example don’t feel pushed into that route. We are lucky that we are gaining so much here, not just the course itself but we are also getting First Aid training for example. There is a mis-understanding that apprenticeships are just in trades but that’s not true. One of my friends recently messaged me to find out more about apprenticeships as he wasn’t sure what to do, but I told him how great I was finding my apprenticeship at Bath ASU and now he is looking for an apprenticeship too!

Kieran is your experience the same as Nicks?

No, whilst I studied A-Levels – Biology, Chemistry and Maths, I actually went to University first but after a year I decided it wasn’t for me. I realised my learning style was more hands on and that an apprenticeship would be a better route for me to take. I found this role on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

Tell us about your role and about what you have both been learning?

We spent the first year of the apprenticeship settling in, getting used to the environment and spending time to understand the company and what they do. In the second year we will be understanding how to manufacture medicines which are produced here. We have been assigned mentors who we will be working alongside us individually. We also have day release to Wiltshire College – in the first year this was at Trowbridge campus and in the second year this will be from the Lackham campus. One of the reasons this apprenticeship is so great is because we are able to learn about different parts of the business this varies from; quality control, research and development to production.

Finally, is there any advice you would like to share?

If you think you will learn better by getting hands on then an apprenticeship is the right route to take, there are the classic myths around apprenticeships that you’ll just be making the tea but that definitely isn’t the case! Bath ASU has been great at getting us involved in everything and with 20% off the job training available we have time to do our assignments, also Wiltshire College have been a great source of support too so an apprenticeship is really a great option to consider.

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