A Gateway to Opportunity
The UK’s Cell and Gene Catapult is offering young adults the opportunity to join one of the country’s most exclusive sectors
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
The UK’s Cell and Gene Catapult (CGT) is offering apprenticeships to young adults to help fill the skills gap faced by the advanced medicines sector. In its 2016 Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan, the UK government – in line with the country's ambition to become a leader in the cell and gene therapy space – acknowledged that it must encourage more young adults into STEM careers through vocational training and academic links to support the industry’s future trajectory.
In response, CGT has developed a series of bespoke apprenticeship standards and continuing professional development programs that train and upskill individuals. The initiative will focus on the skills necessary to develop, manufacture and deliver advanced therapies at scale, and will provide an alternative to the conventions of university education, which can often place unwanted financial strains on young adults. In addition to the practical skills gained, apprentices will receive qualifications (ranging from Level 3, equivalent to an A Level qualification, to Level 7, a Master’s degree) through the University of Kent, The Open University, the University of Hertfordshire and the Forth Valley College.
The program employed 32 people in its first cohort but is still expanding because of the level of interest. Over 200 students applied to be considered as part of the inaugural set of apprentices, which has prompted CGT to launch new programs in Scotland, as well as training schemes focused on regulatory science to encourage more applicants for future intakes.
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