Name: Joe Turton
Year completed: 2014
Joe Turton, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, achieved GCSEs at school before deciding that an apprenticeship could be the best way for him to begin a career in his favourite subject - science.
“I chose an apprenticeship as I wanted to pursue my passion for science, and I was uncertain whether university would suit my learning style,” explains Joe.
Joe heard about an apprenticeship opportunity at Fera Science Ltd, via the Find an apprenticeship website.
After a successful interview, Joe undertook an Advanced Apprenticeship in Laboratory and Science Technicians with the York-based organisation, which he completed in February 2014, aged 19.
As a result of his apprenticeship, Joe achieved a Level 3 NVQ in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities, and a Level 3 technical certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills.
Joe has developed further since at the company and has since been promoted to an Assistant Scientist within the aquatic ecotoxicology department. His work involves participating in innovative research investigating the safety of chemicals in the environment.
“My role and responsibilities are to maintain our biological cultures and laboratories to ensure regulatory compliance,” says Joe. “I manage the experimental stages of studies, set up our systems, provide constant care, plan and develop methods and do any associated paperwork.”
“During my apprenticeship, I learnt various laboratory and analytical techniques, alongside problem solving and independent learning,” he explains. “I developed practical skills through my college and work-based training that have been directly relevant to the workplace – giving me confidence in my abilities and helping me to take on more responsibility.”
For his hard work and performance in his apprenticeship, Joe was recognised as Advanced Apprentice of the Year for the Yorkshire and the Humber region at the regional stage of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013. He also acts as an ambassador for apprenticeships, promoting them at career events.
Joe hopes to further extend his qualifications, with plans to undertake a part time BSc in Environmental Science through the Open University in October this year. “When I started my apprenticeship, I wasn’t certain on my career path. In completing my apprenticeship, it allowed me time to confirm my interest whilst getting paid,” says Joe. “Now I’m able to continue my education, confident knowing that it’s an industry I want a career in.”
Joe concludes, “Looking ahead, I want to continue to enhance my scientific knowledge on the job and develop into a more senior role at the company.”