To celebrate National Apprentice Week, Sean, Apprentice R&D Chemist at Palintest, gives us an insight into his apprenticeship.

Sean Gibson, Apprentice R&D Chemist

Time with Palintest: 15 months

What have you most enjoyed about your apprenticeship in the last year?

What I’ve enjoyed most about my apprenticeship in the last year is, gaining a lot of responsibility for varying products. I’ve enjoyed becoming a well-rounded team member who contributes ideas and solutions whilst also being able to take on criticism and become better at my job from it.

What have been your main achievements in the last year?

My main achievement in the last year has been efficiencies for one of our core products. Although it’s not quite finished, the improvements made so far have drastically decreased the amount of time now spent on this process. Another achievement of mine is being on track with work set by my college for my BTEC qualification, along with my NVQ.

What would you say you’ve learnt in the last year?

I’ve learnt that chemistry is extremely frustrating! In the last year I’ve learnt that attention to detail is key in R&D chemistry, the smallest change of something ca have a big impact. I’ve also learnt the importance of making good working relationships with others in the company as it’s crucial to the business running efficiently.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

The advice I’d give is, don’t be afraid to ask questions, the more questions you ask the better! You won’t learn much keeping your questions in your head. Apprenticeships provide you with high quality training from professionals whilst doing qualifications to add to your CV, the money isn’t bad either! Always talk to your manager/supervisor if you’re having any problems, they’re there to make work as easy and as pleasant as possible for you. Apprenticeships provide crucial experience within a workplace which makes you stand out from other candidates who may not have any experience at all when applying for jobs in the future.

Antonio, R&D Chemistry Development Manager at Palintest had this to say about Sean:

It is great to have Sean as part of the team. As his training progresses he is more confident in the laboratory work and his contribution is vital for the department. Working with an apprentice forces the rest of the team to improve their training skills and is very satisfying to help young people to get into employment and qualifications.

To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week visit: Gov UK - NAW 2018

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