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GSK gains new apprentices

Date Posted: 02/05/2018 | Posted In: Latest news

Students Sophie Burgess and James Wallis from QE have become two of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) newest recruits after having obtained apprenticeships with the pharmaceutical giant beginning this September. Sophie will be working towards a Foundation Degree in Chemistry in partnership with the University of Kent, whilst James will complete an advanced manufacturing apprenticeship, following a product from its initial development to its final packaging. Both students will be based in Barnard Castle for their first year, after which James will carry out some of his work in Ulverston, and both had to compete against several hundred other hopefuls in an intense application process. Following an online application and assessment, Sophie was invited to an open day with seven other applicants where she was tasked with delivering a presentation on a topic of her choice and completing a group task which investigated the solubility of a Smarties sweet in lemonade. James followed a similar route with his group activity involving the creation of a marketing campaign for a new toothpaste and a practical exercise of designing a thermometer. They both then attended one-to-one interviews, each lasting close to an hour.

Looking ahead to his new role, James comments: “I’ve always preferred the idea of hands-on learning and GSK is a great company to work for. I’m hoping to secure a fulltime job with them at the end of my apprenticeship”. Sophie is also excited to get started as she explains: “Working for GSK will provide me with valuable experience that I’ll be able to use throughout my professional career”.

Liz Bryan, Higher Education and Careers Adviser at QESFC, concludes: “We are very pleased with both James’s and Sophie’s achievements. Their success emphasises the fact that employers value A Levels and are keen to recruit young people with good qualifications. Sophie and James will have the opportunity to work, earn, learn and progress up to degree level”.