Leading global quality solutions provider Intertek, which has a base at Manchester science park Hexagon Tower to help develop anti-cancer drugs, cosmetics and other pharmaceuticals through testing for quality and safety, sees three new apprentices join its team every year, alongside graduate trainees and placement students.
Against a backdrop of skill shortages in STEM sectors, Intertek is calling for the science industry to reverse the decline by offering young people opportunities at all stages of education.
Intertek apprentice Damien Beesley, 20, works as an Apprentice Analyst for the firm whilst studying a BTEC in Applied science at Trafford College.
Damien said: “I had gone to college to do IT and maths, but wasn't sure what to do next and worked in a bar in Wigan.
“I didn't want to go to university, so when I heard about Intertek’s apprentice program, I jumped at the chance.
“Now I get to use some really exciting bits of kit, and I feel proud when I see products in a shop that I may have worked on.”
Findings from the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) shows that by 2022, there will be a skills shortage of 40,000 STEM technicians and operators.
Rob van Dorp, Chief Executive of Intertek UK and Eire, said: “Employing skilled and highly qualified scientists and engineers is crucial to the future of our business.
“We want to help students realise that STEM sector jobs can offer a great career with dynamic commercial and global possibilities.”
Hexagon Tower – Intertek’s Manchester base – is part of the Business Environments for Science and Technology (BEST) Network, the UK’s largest portfolio of privately owned science parks.
Michael Cripps, the BEST Network Operations and Finance Controller at Fasset, which manages Hexagon Tower, said: “Intertek is exactly the kind of company we wish to attract at our BEST Network science parks – innovative, high-tech and passionate about the future of science and technology.
“Apprenticeships are key to unlocking that future, and we hope that more companies take on Intertek’s message and support the next generation young people looking to find an exciting career.”