Laboratory Apprenticeship
Laboratory Apprenticeship

Laboratory Apprenticeships launch in Waterford Institute of Technology

Friday, 15 November 2019

Photographed- Eimer Fennell, Craig Waters, Cliodhna Wadding employed by Eurofins Biopharma Product Testing Ireland Ltd. Georgia Harris, Jade Whelan, Jake Harney, Sean Bowes employed by Sanofi. Hayden Simms employed by GSK, Patrick Osei Gyebi and Laura O`Connell employed by Hovione , Dr. Bernie Whelan WIT

Biopharmachem Ireland the sector that represents the Biopharma and chemical sectors launched the Laboratory Apprenticeships programme in the South-East in collaboration with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) as part of the Department of Education and Skills wider national strategy. The launch at the WIT Arena in Waterford was attended by Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan along with business, academic staff of WIT, the new apprentices and their employers Sanofi, Hovione, GSK and Eurofins Biopharma Product Testing Ireland Ltd leading

The Laboratory apprenticeships are extremely varied in that they combine paid on the job training with academic study. These programmes are suitable for leaving certificate students who wish to pursue a career in science, and current industry employees looking to up-skill or train in a laboratory environment. It is an outstanding opportunity for students to acquire real and practical experience while earning money. In addition to this, the programmes have proven very beneficial for Irish employers. Taking on a laboratory apprentice allows companies an unrivalled opportunity to compete both nationally and internationally by growing their talent pipeline and ensuring students gain valuable, hands on experience from day one

Minister Halligan explained “Apprenticeships give groups of employers a unique opportunity to contribute to the creation of programmes that closely match the needs of their sectors and to secure the supply of skills for the longer term. For learners, apprenticeships enable the acquisition of the theoretical knowledge and workplace skills that are the foundation for a rewarding career. The Laboratory Technician and Laboratory Analyst programmes offer valuable qualifications and workplace experience with some of Ireland’s and the world’s leading companies in the biopharma sector. Over the course of these excellent programmes apprentices will have the opportunity to build careers in one of Ireland’s most exciting and innovative sectors”.

Matt Moran, Director of Biopharmachem Ireland added “This apprenticeship programme opens up a whole new route into the industry for school leavers keen to follow careers in this exciting sector. I look forward to seeing this vocational route bearing fruit for the sector and for its future employees”.

Dr Peter McLoughlin, Head of the School of Science at WIT said: “WIT works closely with industry in the region to create courses that prepare graduates with the skills needs of modern organisations. Tailored training programmes from the fully online Higher Diploma in Computer Science to the Certificate in Pharmaceutical Technology ensure that we are responding to the ever changing needs of industry. The institute’s involvement in the lab apprenticeship programme is a further extension of how we meet the needs of the region. Lab apprenticeships are essential to ensuring the growth of the biopharma and food sector both regionally and nationally. Such apprenticeships have the potential to rewrite the Irish third level education landscape. The opportunity for students to move more quickly into industry to gain key work place skills is at the core of this model. WIT is delighted to work with our industry partners and Ibec on this exciting new apprenticeship initiative.”

Both programmes were launched in TU Dublin in 2018 and the roll out in Waterford Institute of Technology looks set to be a success with Sanofi, Hovione, GSK and Eurofins Biopharma Product Testing Ireland Ltd leading in the recruitment and the promotion of this new exciting pathway into the sector

(Photo Left to right) Dr. Bernie Whelan, Dr. Orla O`Donovan WIT, Ms Siobhán Dean Ibec, Minister John Halligan, Mr. Matt Moran Ibec, Ms Eleanor Kent WIT, Dr. Peter McLoughlin WIT.

The two academically accredited apprenticeship programmes:

· Higher Certificate in Science – Laboratory technician (2 year Level 6)

Ordinary Bachelor of Science Degree – Laboratory Analyst (3 year Level 7)

For more information, please email Jen or Siobhán at