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Laboratory Technician apprenticeship

Laboratory Technicians are the people who make things happen at AWE. From setting up laboratories to running experiments, our skilled Technicians play a key role in research that is vital to the safety and security of the nation.  Put simply, a Laboratory Technician is someone who makes it possible for research and innovation to take place. Highly practical people, Technicians might make sure a lab is operational, and ensure that the right equipment is provided and functioning properly. They may also carry out experiments,and analyse samples, so that our scientists can consider the data.  Thanks to all the varied work you’ll do as a Technician, AWE will be able to safely and securely develop knowledge and products that keep 65 million people safe.
What will you do?
This apprenticeship offers you a truly unique opportunity. It involves aspects of physics, materials science, chemistry and biological science. The range of ideas and techniques
you will see and experience at AWE is more than most people will ever encounter in their lifetime. You’ll be amazed by the depth and breadth of science that you will contribute to. You could
get involved in:
• Explosives
• Radiochemistry and radiation science
• Analytical chemistry
• Materials science
• Plasma physics (high power lasers)
• Hydrodynamics
• And much more
The career choices ahead are even more fascinating. You might choose to progress into more senior lab roles, such as Senior Technician or Laboratory Manager. You could become a Technologist, in charge of an important and complex piece of equipment or process. Or, with AWE’s support to gain a degree, you might pursue the path of a research scientist. Whatever our business needs, and whatever opportunities suit you, you will continue to develop.
How will you learn?
Your apprenticeship journey will take two years. During that time, you’ll learn a huge
amount. You’ll spend the first few weeks of the programme at our famous Skills Academy. There you’ll learn all about AWE and how we work in laboratory conditions. You will be trained in health and safety, laboratory techniques and the use of specialist equipment.
Crucially, you’ll find out about the different materials you’ll be asked to work with, including radioactive and explosive substances. We’ll show you how to handle and dispose of them safely.
A wide  range of other training will include:
  • Preparing, testing and analysing samples
  • Writing scientific notes
  • Checking and reporting results
  • What quality means in a lab environment, and how to maintain it
  • How to make sure you’re providing great customer service to AWE scientists

When you’ve developed your core skills, you’ll go on to complete at least five different practical placements in different areas of chemistry, physics and biological work. You’ll work on real projects that have a genuine impact on our business and AWE’s important mission.

What’s more, you’ll enjoy opportunities to take part in team building challenges and charity projects. By the end of your apprenticeship, you will have gained a nationally recognised BTEC
Level 3 in Applied Science, and have Diploma qualification. And you’ll be ready for a rewarding role as a fully-fledged Laboratory Technician.
Entry Requirements:
  • Preferably GCSE in Math and English at Grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • Must be age 18 or above as of 4th September 2018

Qualifications achieved during your apprenticeship:

  • Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science (Technical certificate)
  • Level 2  English, Maths, (Functional Skills) - If required
  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)
  • Process Safety Awareness Certificate

    Duration of training:  2 Years
    Starting salary: £10500