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GSK Ulverston apprentices go back to school to inspire next generation

GSK Ulverston apprentices who have launched an asthma awareness campaign in memory of a talented young footballer Josh West.
GSK Ulverston apprentices who have launched an asthma awareness campaign in memory of a talented young footballer Josh West.

[A]spiring young professionals in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry are going back to school to deliver a series of presentations about their career development.

The group of apprentices from GSK Ulverston, who have qualified as finalists in #BAC17, the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge, will call in at local primary schools to conduct science experiments and help enthuse children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

They will also visit secondary schools to showcase their ongoing asthma awareness campaign aimed at young people, spreading the word about how to recognise asthma symptoms and what to do if someone is having an asthma attack. The campaign is in memory of 11-year-old Josh West from Ulverston.

The group will provide school pupils with information and advice about enrolling for apprenticeships and the diverse range of subjects on offer too.
They will be making two visits to Furness Academy, as well as talking to pupils at Vickerstown Primary, St James’ Primary, Greengate Junior School, Millom School and Cartmel School.

An additional presentation to students from Go4SET, an initiative of the Engineering Development Trust which links STEM pupils with employers and universities, is also on their schedule.

“We’re really excited about this next stage of the campaign and the chance to share our industry experiences to date with younger students who might be thinking about careers in science,” explains James Turner, a second year manufacturing apprentice from Haverigg.

“It’s great to be given the opportunity to present to these schools and show the children a little bit about what we do at work and how science subjects can lead to high value careers.”

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. The competition includes apprentices working on a community project to benefit young people and activities that raise the profile of the team, their employer and apprenticeships.

As part of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the GSK Ulverston apprentices have already organised a programme of business breakfasts with local employers to showcase the benefits of apprenticeships and encourage them to take on apprentices.

Terry Sandham, Apprentice Programme Manager at GSK Ulverston, says: “This is another important step for the group, both in terms of the Brathay Challenge and for their continued professional development.

“It’s another opportunity for them to hone their communication and presentation skills which go hand in hand with specific training in a range of manufacturing disciplines like mechanical engineering, electricals or systems control.”

The national finals finish at The Brathay Trust in mid-June when the apprentice team of the year 2017 is announced.

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