Apprenticeship Case Study: Carlie Taylor

“Everyday in the lab is different, there is so much to do you never get bored.”


1. What do you do as part of your apprenticeship?

I’m an apprentice at the University of Sheffield in partnership with The Sheffield College. I’m currently studying a level 3 BTEC diploma in Applied Sciences, along with an NVQ.

For my apprenticeship, I work in a Molecular Biology and Biotechnology lab. When our undergraduate students attend practicals and when 3rd years carry out research for their projects, we provide all the essential materials and equipment for them to study.

I have learnt many skills such as bacteria culturing, sterilising methods and procedures, aliquoting alongside other key molecular biology procedures and technologies.

No 2 days in the lab are the same, we go through so much prep for experiments and jobs for the upkeep of the lab. My main responsibilities are looking after the equipment and preparing media for the students, as well as preparing the lab for practical lessons. Every day in the lab is different, there is so much to do, you never get bored!

2. What is difference about an apprenticeship, compared to A-Levels, going into work or other further education routes?

You do still get coursework from College but a benefit of apprenticeships is you gain hands-on-experience, as well as teamwork skills. I get to maintain and use the equipment in the lab. I also get a taster of some skills that University undergraduate students are learning as part of their course.

3. What have you gained from your apprenticeship?

The biggest thing I have gained from my apprenticeship is having life-skills and being able to work well in a team. The team I work around are very supportive.

4. Where do you see yourself after your apprenticeship has completed?

After my apprenticeship, I definitely want to be in the role I am in now as a technician, because I have completely fallen in love with the lab-environment. I definitely want to work in a team and from the experience of working in the lab, I know I am going to be surrounded by a good team.

The best thing about doing my apprenticeship is it has given me such a wide-span of ideas for what I want to do in the future. Biology has so many topics and units, that it has given me such a big plan to take into my future. I know I can dive into anything with what I have learnt, it’s set me up for a good future.


Interviewed (video: filmed and edited) by Andy Metcalfe, Teaching Technical Team Leader – University of Sheffield.

Carlie Taylor