05.05 pm

Shining the spotlight on talent in the Science Industries

Apprentices, graduates, employers, providers and leaders gathered at London’s Montcalm Hotel for the third annual Science Industry Skills Awards, organised by Cogent Skills, the strategic skills body for the science industries.

Previously known as the Life Sciences Skills Awards, this year the awards ceremony was extended to cover all of the science industries including chemical, polymer, downstream, water treatment, coatings and biotechnology industries.

The event took place on Thursday evening, 7th May 2015, and saw 29 finalists and 10 winners taking to the stage to receive awards, plus an extra, special award for Outstanding New Talent.

Joanna Woolf, Cogent Skills’ CEO said: "Cogent Skills is delighted to be able to provide a platform to showcase such outstanding talent and we congratulate both the nominees and the winners. It was truly an inspirational evening and fantastic to see the talented nominees and winners who are all an absolute credit to their employers.  We wish everyone who took part in the Awards continued success in their careers and in acting as such fantastic role models for the science industries."

Representing the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) - the evening’s main sponsor for the third year – Dr Virginia Acha, ABPI Executive Director Research Medical & Innovation, said: "The ABPI was delighted to once again sponsor and co-host the annual Science Industry Skills Awards. This outstanding evening truly showcased innovation across training, development and education within the science-based industries; industries which have an ongoing requirement for top talent from here in the UK."

Natalie Woodford, Senior Vice President, Talent, Leadership and Organisation Development, GSK, said: "We recognise that there is no single academic journey and have therefore worked hard to develop high quality, rewarding career opportunities to cater to as many young people as possible. We are delighted that our employees on two of these programmes – our apprenticeship and graduate programmes – have been recognised.  We are also pleased to see many other companies and young people acknowledged because it is vital that the industry works together to safeguard the reputation of the UK as a leader in life sciences."

TV presenter and explorer Simon Reeve entertained the guests after dinner, and hosted the Awards ceremony which culminated in all the winners taking to the stage in a grand finale.

The winners are:

Advanced Apprentice of the year (R & D) (sponsored by Cogent Skills Apprenticeship Service)

Charlotte Carr, Pfizer Ltd

Charlotte is currently undertaking a two year Laboratory & Science Technician Advanced Apprenticeship. She assisted with a project on NIR chemical imaging. During this project she worked on a drug product currently being developed, where she was responsible for the analysis of all the samples, data processing and data interpretation.

Advanced Apprentice of the year (Manufacturing) (sponsored by TTE Technical Training)

Kingsley Beagle, GSK

Kingsley is currently undertaking a four year Advanced Apprenticeship in Manufacturing. He has taken on the task of designing and implementing a tracker which will help to identify the cost of waste totals from both filling and packaging areas.

Higher Apprentice of the year Award (sponsored by Cogent Skills Placements Service)

Hannah Bell, GSK

Hannah is currently undertaking a three year Supply Chain Higher Apprenticeship. She works in the Supply Chain team and is responsible for tracking and managing day to day issues that may arise or could jeopardise product availability.

Employer of the year Award (sponsored by Science Council)


UCB partners with a number of external organisations such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, the British Pharmacological Society and research councils to support education across Life Sciences at different levels across the UK. They hold a ‘work in science’ week which aims to encourage young people to pursue further education and to take up a career in the field of science.

Graduate of the Year (sponsored by British Pharmacological Society) 

Rachel Lund, GSK

Rachel joined GSK in 2014 within the microbiology discipline and is part of a global project to validate new disinfectants. During this project she altered the cleaning and disinfection processes which occur in the sterile injectable antibiotic manufacturing.

Placement of the Year (sponsored by Middlesbrough College)

Laura FitzPatrick, MedImmune

Laura completed a one year placement at Medimmune that was a proof-of-principle project aimed at investigating the potential use of exosomes as a novel intracellular drug delivery platform. During her placement year she established that exosomes could be targeted to specific markers overexpressed on the surface of tumour cells, and that they could be loaded with chemotherapeutic drugs.

Provider of the Year (sponsored by Science Industry Partnership) 

HFL Consulting Limited

For over a decade HFL Consulting has developed a series of programmes and courses, designed to support companies in the development of their operational excellence, process safety management and loss prevention strategies. They have delivered 16 training courses across Risk Assessment, Human Reliability Assessment and Competence Management and have trained over 200 learners.

Outstanding Leadership in Skills Award (sponsored by UCB) 

Joint winners: Steve Trillo, Lotte Chemical UK Ltd and Rachel Garlish, UCB

Steve is a STEM Board member for Middlesbrough and Redcar/ Cleveland colleges who work together to help drive the STEM agenda and requirements across the industry sector, as well as carrying out these responsibilities, he is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador for the North East. Steve is the chair of both the Science Industry Partnership (SIP) Quality and SIP North East working groups and is also a SIP Board member.

Rachel set up the ‘Work in Science Week’ in 2012. This allows students to spend time in UCB laboratories sampling day-to-day experiences and practicalities of a career in scientific research whilst being able to work alongside professionals. She was also one of the first STEM Ambassadors for UCB and has worked hard to encourage other colleagues. Due to Rachel’s hard work and enthusiasm, the number of Ambassadors has increased from 2 in 2012 to 13 in 2014.

Outstanding New Talent award (sponsored by MedImmune)

Charlotte Carr, Pfizer Ltd

Each winner in the New Talent learner categories was taken to an independent judging panel to select the winner of the Outstanding New Talent Award 2015. Charlotte was awarded winner due to her exceptional passion, enthusiasm and energy. Charlotte has demonstrated that she has the skills to succeed and the drive to be an inspiration to all.  Christina Pattoni, Pfizer said “Charlotte is a highly motivated individual who is always eager to improve her capabilities.”

View photographs from the evening.

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