Apprenticeships in a Purification Laboratory

Apprenticeships at Reach

Reach has long had positive associations with apprenticeships. This began back in 2011 when our now Senior Separation Scientist, Mike, began his career as an apprentice in a big pharma purification group. As part of National Apprenticeship week in the UK we thought we would share our experiences, starting with Ellie, who joined us as our first apprentice in 2018.

Ellie joined us from Grantham college, working at Reach for two days a week alongside studying for her Level 3 BTEC Diploma. Ellie’s day-to-day responsibilities were that of a Laboratory Technician; ensuring solvents and consumables were always well stocked, helping with shipping, and cleaning glassware (especially important in a purification lab!). Whilst on placement at Reach, Ellie was also able to get valuable career advice from her new colleagues and gain a wider understanding of the company and the science behind it.

“Choosing to gain a degree via an apprenticeship rather than via the traditional route allows me to study and get paid at the same time. Exposure to a real workplace gives me a much greater appreciation of how my studies can shape my future career.”


After keeping in touch with Reach through her second year at college, last year Ellie re-joined Reach to begin a degree apprenticeship as a laboratory scientist in Chemistry, in partnership with the University of Nottingham. The majority of Ellie’s time is spent in the workplace, filling the roles of both Laboratory Technician and Separation Scientist. Academic study is provided by the University through distance learning and occasional full-time teaching weeks scheduled throughout the year.

After 5 years of work and part-time study, Ellie will graduate with a BSc in Chemistry, a well honed skillset unique to her chosen industry and, of course, no student debt!

After Ellie’s success,  Reach Separations will be hiring another Level 6 Degree Apprentice to join our ranks in the Autumn. To find out more about this study pathway, click here