05 March 2018

Manufacturing technician apprentices say life saving work is a privilege

Not many apprentices can say the work they do is genuinely life-changing.

But four Wiltshire College apprentices say they are privileged to work for a company that produces and processes pharmaceuticals including chemotherapy treatment to hospital patients nationwide.

Kieran Grubb, Courtney Mitchell, Ethan Besant and Nick Eggleton began working for Bath ASU in Corsham at the start of the academic year as manufacturing apprentice technicians.

With a keen interest in science, all of them believed an apprenticeship would be the perfect route to pursuing their careers.

Courtney, from Chippenham, spent a year at university studying engineering but decided it wasn’t the right course for her.

The 20-year-old said: “I felt that an apprenticeship would be a good route to get the practical experience I wanted and I am really enjoying it.

“It is a lot different to university.

“Throughout our apprenticeship we will work in many different areas and there is a lot of support available if needed through the company and also our assessor at college.

“At each stage of our training there is an assessment and this is important because of the nature of the work we do.

“We are working for people who are extremely ill and so it’s vital we are competent.

“It’s really a nice feeling to know that we are doing something so important that makes such a difference to people.”

Bath ASU provides a complete range of aseptic manufacturing services including patient-specific chemotherapy, dose banded batch chemotherapy, central intravenous additive service and patient controlled analgesia products.

Constantly introducing new and innovative methods, its dedicated research and development team explores ways to make products and services safer, longer lasting and more dependable.

Kieran, from Marshfield, completed A-Levels in biology, chemistry and maths, before spending a year at university studying biology, but decided to explore apprenticeship options.

The 20-year-old said: “I didn’t enjoy the style of learning at university, but am really enjoying the apprenticeship.

“It is very hands on and I have learned so much already.

“Working at Bath ASU enables me to work in a science environment but also get the experience of working in an aseptic environment.

“The necessity of everything being perfect is so important and it’s also fascinating.”

Ethan Bessant, 18, from Market Lavington, also completed A-Levels.

He said: “When I saw a science related apprenticeship come up, I thought it would be a great opportunity to enter the industry, so applied straight away.

“I really like that we are such a close net team and as there are four of us we work together a lot, help and support each other.”

Eighteen-year-old Nick from Corsham considered university after finishing his A-Levels but was unsure of what to study.

He said: “I thought that I would take a gap year and look for a job.

“I applied for a role here at Bath ASU, which I felt would be good experience, working in the sort of area that I was interested in.

“I was asked to consider the apprenticeship, which I hadn’t thought about previously and joined a month later than the others.

“I’m so glad that I did as we get paid as well as gain some fantastic experience.

“It was definitely the right decision to make.”