To celebrate the role of Science in Manufacturing, we spoke to Rachel Higgins, HR Learning and Development Specialist, at Seqens Custom Specialties.
As an HR and learning and development specialist at Seqens Custom Specialties, I am proud to be involved in a program that has invested in young people’s future for over 30 years. Our apprenticeship program has been a vital tool in developing a talented, highly skilled, and motivated workforce that has contributed to the company’s success over the years.
Investing in young people is not only an investment in their future but also in the future of our business. Our Science Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship program is specifically designed to provide young people with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to succeed in their industry. We engage school leavers by attending careers fairs at local colleges and training centres , while also advertising online. We require a minimum grade of 4 in GCSE, although we prefer a grade of 5, and we value work experience and practical examples of teamwork and communication skills.
Once we find potential candidates, we schedule competency-based interviews with technical questions. We aim to determine whether an applicant can think logically, outside the box, and remain calm under pressure. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to visit our site, where they can get a feel for the size of our facility and what the job entails. This site visit is essential for process technicians to fully understand the role and apply based on what they know.
Our apprenticeship program is an essential part of our workforce planning in general. Through our program, we are able to fill gaps in retiring employees with highly skilled and competent technicians who have been trained to meet our specific needs. We also create a pipeline of talented individuals who can develop and climb the career ladder – former apprentices have progressed to Plant Manager or Technical Advisor roles within the business, demonstrating the success of our program.
As someone who is involved in every step of the apprenticeship life cycle, from advertising vacancies to recruiting, hiring, training, and reviewing, I can attest to the importance of such a program. By investing in young people from day one, we are able to build job-related skills and develop a team of motivated individuals who can work together seamlessly. Investing in young people is also an investment in the wider industry, as our highly skilled technicians will be in demand and able to contribute to our sector.
At Seqens Custom Specialties, we prioritise investment in skills and our impressive apprenticeship program is a key part of this plan. By providing the necessary training and development, we are able to position ourselves for long-term success, while also helping support people to build their skills and knowledge to grow their careers. I take great pride in my involvement in this program and look forward to seeing its continued success in the years to come.