Director goes back to school for apprenticeship week

North East chemicals firm, High Force Research has linked up with the Royal Society of Chemistry to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.

Royal Society of Chemistry director, Clare Viney, spends day as apprentice to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
Royal Society of Chemistry director, Clare Viney, spends day as apprentice to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.

High Force Research Ltd. has invited Clare Viney, director of The Royal Society of Chemistry, to spend the day as an apprentice.

Specialising in product development in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and fine chemicals industries, the chemical research company recently received funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry – via its EnterprisePlus Scheme – to appoint its first apprentice chemist.

Megan Jones, 18, from Chester-le-Street, joined the company in November on a five-year apprenticeship. The apprenticeship funding also goes towards the first three years of university fees, with High Force paying the final two years of Jones’ five-year chemistry degree course.

Alongside her five-year apprenticeship, which will enable her to learn key practical skills working alongside experienced chemists, Jones will also study part-time for a chemistry degree at Teesside University.

Viney commented: “Apprenticeships help so many people to grow, from the apprentices themselves to their employers, and ultimately our economy.

“At the Royal Society of Chemistry, we’re really pleased to be able to support such a thriving community of chemical sciences companies. Funding and support from our EnterprisePlus programme provides companies like High Force with access to expertise and knowledge to help them grow, and innovate and do the scientific research that will make life better for all of us.”

High Force Research Director, Stuart Penny said: “Appointing an apprentice is another way of finding and developing home grown talent.

“We have strong relationships with the universities and usually appoint graduates, but the benefit of working with apprentices is that we are able to teach practical laboratory skills from day one.

“Megan will has been working in our laboratories with highly experienced chemists four of five days a week and this combined with her academic studies will make her a very skilled employee in the years to come.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry offers apprenticeship grants up to £6,000 throughout the academic year.