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Congratulations to Grace!

We are thrilled to announce that our Microbiology Technician Apprentice Grace has passed her apprenticeship with a distinction.

Grace’s apprenticeship involved working in the labs doing regular tasks such as calibrating the pH meters, keeping the autoclaves and water baths clean etc.

Whilst COVID was happening she checked we had the chemicals people needed so they didn’t have to come onsite, and she instigated a process whereby she (helped by the wider team) ensured that everyone had a clean lab coat every week on their peg.

She helps lab users make up their reagents, she arranges equipment services and has written risk assessments. She has chaired lab team meetings and helps lab users out when they are stuck in the labs.

Alongside this Grace had modules to learn and assignments to write which she did alongside her day-to-day tasks.

For her end point assessment Grace had to do a practical exam. In this case she showed the examiner (with Ben as her internal examiner) how to calibrate the pH meter and portable balance, how to prepare media and set up a run using the MicrobeMeters. She also showed them how to create a growth curve using Excel and data from a previous MicrobeMeter run. She also had to have a verbal interrogation (I can’t currently think of the proper word) with the external examiner and write a written exam.

In order to get a distinction Grace had to do well in all these areas of her End Point Assessment as well as getting ‘Exceeding Expectations’ in her Behaviours Log. The apprentices had to meet certain criteria under different categories (Personal Responsibility, Communication, Team Work, Independence and Responsibility, Impact of Work, Time Management and Change Management). Other members of the team and some lab users also gave evidence as part of the behaviours log. This was done over the two years. Grace and I met up with her YouthForce mentor every 6-8 weeks and I’d give evidence on Grace’s progress. Grace could also upload evidence such as some of the training videos she had done, risk assessments and SOPs.

She is going to be with us for another year, primarily working with Karen on the Marinococcus experiment alongside her routine technical tasks.

Many congratulations to you, Grace!