Apprentice Laboratory Assistant

Job overview

  • 58349
  • UK - England - Yorkshire
  • York
  • Clinical and Scientific
  • Fera
  • Fixed Term Contract, Full Time
  • GCSE or equivalent
  • Jun 1 2019

Vacancy description

Closing date: 01/06/19, however we reserve the right to close this advert earlier than stated if sufficient application numbers are received.

Start date: 02/09/19

Please note that your application will be shared with Leeds City College and you may be contacted for a pre-screen telephone interview by their Apprentice Recruitment Team.

  • Office location: Sand Hutton, York

  • Work pattern: 37.5 hours per week, Mon – Fri

  • Employment type: 24 month, fixed-term appointment

  • Education required: A Level or equivalent.

Apprentice Laboratory Assistant

Join us as an Apprentice Laboratory Assistant to help Fera deliver its world-class science and develop your career in the science sector. We are the UK’s number one provider of translation science services to the food, plant protection and related industries, focusing on discovery technology across the agri-food chain, smarter surveillance and risk analysis. 

Apprenticeship Summary

Who are we and what we do:

Fera is a national and international centre of excellence for interdisciplinary investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, crop protection, sustainable agriculture, food and feed quality and chemical safety in the environment.

We create and deliver integrated, innovative and expert research services and products for our partners in crop protection, chemical and animal health companies, as well as food producers and growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We also support and work closely with governments, academia and leading research organisations.

We employ 350 scientists in the extensive laboratory facilities of the National Agri-Food and Innovation Campus where Fera is based. This impressive campus is located near to the village of Sand Hutton which is just a few miles from York, and is served by excellent transport links

The Role:

You will have a significant and valuable opportunity to build a portfolio of laboratory skills through on the job training whilst gaining a recognised qualification. This exciting opportunity will ideally be suited to individuals with a scientific and practical mindset who will thrive in an active applied science environment.  You must be prepared to attend Leeds City College once a week to study for a Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Applied Biology.

Positions will be based in the Plant Protection Programme at Fera:

The apprentice will contribute towards pathogen diagnosis in the laboratory to support plant protection within the UK and overseas for both commercial and government customers. The Plant Protection Programme provides a pest and disease identification service for the government’s Plant Health and Seeds Inspectors. Apprentices will become competent to carry out support work in the core plant health laboratories, and able to respond to emergency delivery needs as they arise.

What you will receive:

  • Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Applied Biology (fully funded by Fera).

  • Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship

  • A Salary (per annum): Age 16 -20 £11992.50, Age 21-24 £15015.00, Age 25+ £16009.50

  • Funded travel costs to Leeds City College for day release only.

  • A free Chromebook to help you with your studies.

  • An IOSH Level 2 certificate.

  • The opportunity to obtain an RSciTech.

  • The chance to act as a STEM Ambassador across Yorkshire for science roles.

  • 23 days annual leave allowance, plus 8 days of public holiday.

  • A personalised laboratory coat and a course text book from Leeds City College.



Acceptance is subject to interview and skills test.                      

Minimum age: 16 years old.

Desired qualifications:

An A-Level in Biology or Chemistry is preferred but not essential, or relevant work experience or a Level 3 science-based qualification.

GCSE grades C or above in Maths and English or AS Levels (or equivalent).

Desired skills:

  • Excellent communication skills.

  • Strong IT ability.

  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

  • Willingness to learn and ability retain new skills.

  • Great attention to detail and the patience to double check work for accuracy.

  • The capability to work within deadlines.

  • A flexible approach to working in a busy and varied work environment.

  • The ability to follow written and verbal instruction.

Personal qualities:

  • A passion for science.

  • Strong work ethic.

  • Enthusiastic.

  • Punctual.

  • Organised, determined and proactive approach to lab work and coursework.


About the employer

Fera Science Ltd.

National Agri-Food and Innovation Campus

Sand Hutton


YO41 1LZ

Some of the additional benefits of working for Fera:

  • Winner of the Larger Employer of the Year at the York Apprenticeship Awards 2017
  • Flexible working hours
  • On-site gym
  • On-site nursery
  • On-site restaurant
  • On-site free parking
  • Lifeworks reward scheme


Training Provider

Leeds City College

The expected duration of the Level 4 HNC in Applied Biology with Level 3 apprenticeship is 24 months, attending the University Centre at Leeds City College for one day a week (over 64 weeks).

Please see below the proposed units:

Cell Biology

Laboratory Techniques for Applied Biology

Physiology of Cellular Systems in Animals

Analysis of Scientific Data and Information

Organic chemistry (imported unit)

Chemistry for Applied Biologists

Biochemistry of Macromolecules and Metabolic Pathways

Laboratory-based Investigation

Where you will be working