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Level 5 Technician Scientist Degree Apprenticeship - UCB

Cogent Ssc
208 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 3WE
£17,000.00 annually
Closing date
26 Oct 2021

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Engineering & Aerospace
Role Type
Apprenticeship, Higher
Start Date
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Specific Duties and Responsibilities.

Antibody Biology group at UCB's UK Discovery Research Hub in Slough are currently looking for highly motivated trainees to join their scientist apprentice scheme. Over the course of the 3 year apprenticeship you will have received extensive training in techniques such as mammalian cell culture and protein expression and you will work as part of a team developing manufacturing processes for the delivery of novel biological drugs to treat human diseases.

During your apprenticeship you will also be assigned your own mentor to provide help and advice. This represents a great opportunity to train as a cell culture scientist and work in industry-leading laboratories at the cutting edge of drug discovery.

Tasks typically involve:
  • Performing experiments under supervision in order to produce data to support drug discovery
  • Carrying out tasks accurately and following strict methodologies to carry out analyses
  • Recording all laboratory work to the agreed standards
  • Ensuring the laboratory is well-stocked and resourced
  • Helping interpret and present results in collaboration with other colleagues
  • Keeping up to date with technical developments, especially those which can save time and improve reliability
  • Following and ensuring strict safety procedures and safety checks


UCB's UK site is located Slough, Berkshire where it houses the immunology research hub and the head office for the UK commercial organisation.There are three buildings on the Slough site, housing around 600 staff.

  • UCB was founded in 1928 and was originally a chemicals manufacturer with a separate pharmaceuticals division
  • In 2004, UCB acquired Celltech, the UK's leading biotechnology company, which brought expertise in antibody-based drug discovery to the company
  • Schwarz Pharma was acquired in 2007, bringing its own portfolio of neurology and urology products

The research hub in Belgium concentrates on CNS therapies while the UK research focus is on immunology. Here, UCB is researching drugs for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoporosis. The site is renowned for its capabilities in antibody-based drug discovery and early development

UCB now focuses on severe diseases within immunology and CNS. UCB is active in a number of therapy areas including epilepsy, movement disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and allergy.

UCB is a top five investor in UK pharmaceutical R&D*, investing over £230 million in 2010. Globally UCB invests more than 20% of its sales revenue into R&D

In the UK, UCB's R&D, Commercial and Corporate functions are located in Slough, Berkshire. UCB employs around 600 staff in the UK, of whom about 400 are engaged in research and development activities

The company supplies over 40 UK-approved medicines.

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills

  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good ability to multitask
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good numerical and IT skills

Personal qualities

  • Attention to detail
  • Teamworker and considerate to members of the team and wider organisation
  • Highly motivated and drive to develop oneself
  • Demonstrates reliability and integrity
  • Enthusiasm

Desired qualifications

  • 5 GCSE's (or equivalent) grade 4-9 (A*-C) including Maths, English and Science
  • You must have gained a minimum of 80 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A-level subjects including Chemistry and Biology (or equivalent, e.g. BTEC) and an additional Science or Maths

Future prospects

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship you will be eligible to apply for other positions within the business.The training will expose the apprentice to a wide range of skills and competencies which would make them well placed for further study or suitable for many job opportunities in the life sciences sector.

Things to consider

Please ensure that you currently live within or can relocate to a commutable distance of the site

The individual will be working within a laboratory environment and must therefore adhere to site dress code procedures and personal hygiene standards during testing activities (e.g. correct use of PPE such as laboratory coats and glasses; and removal of all jewellery and make-up upon entry into controlled clean room areas).

The individual will be required to handle hazardous materials (e.g. chemicals, microorganisms) and so must adhere to the relevant procedures.

The work pattern involves day and occasional weekend working dependent upon the needs of the business.

You will be entitled to company benefits including:
  • 26 Days Holiday entitlement (+ Bank Holidays)
  • Opt in pension scheme
  • Student discount card (NUS)
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Dedicated mentor for the duration of your apprenticeship
  • Sport and Social Club that subsidises many sports, social and cultural events through the year. Canteen with subsidised food with breakfast, lunch and wide range of snacks available

Apprentices are paid for their normal working hours and training that's part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week). For more information please visit:
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