“Almost two years ago, I believed I’d ruined any chance I had of working in science, as the traditional route didn't work for me,” said Tonicha Roberts, a forensic science analyst at Eurofins Forensic Services, who completed her apprenticeship through CSR Group.
“Now, at the age of 20, I'm a forensic scientist, working to aid the criminal justice service; something I'm very proud to be a part of.”
Some of the apprentices graduating also received their Registered Science Technician awards – a competence-based professional designation that recognises the practical and professional skills developed through work-based learning. We provide support to training providers and accredited companies to help them get their apprentices registered, recognition Simon feels is vital for raising the profile of technical routes.
“For apprentices, the ability to have that recognition, that extra bit of confidence and that improved status that it brings, is really important," he said. “For businesses, the benefit of professional recognition is really tangible.
“From a company perspective [collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry] has been fantastic. To be able to make people sit up and listen to us, when we go into employers and talk to them about what we offer, with the support of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the professional recognition behind us, it opens doors and gives us credibility.”
Our president, Professor Sir John Holman, awarded the certificates and gave the keynote speech, highlighting the importance of maintaining technical skills in the UK.
“Being from an educational background, you can imagine how excited I was to hear about this event today, because it's all about what education can do for people,” said Sir John Holman.
“We've got a job to do as a country to showcase – more strongly and positively – the importance of technical routes. High level research stops dead very quickly without technicians. I think we can help by adding some of that prestige to technical roles in the chemical sciences. Your role in advancing the chemical sciences is just as vital.”