More part-time courses for chemistry students are needed to ensure future talent isn’t lost to the Life Sciences sector, a chief executive from the Cambridge BioMedtech cluster has warned.
Mark Hammond, CEO of Melbourn Scientific, wants to see more opportunities for school leavers to take part-time degree courses.
The company has a policy of growing young talent through in-house training. This broadens the capabilities of the workforce and allows scientists to be trained to have exactly the right techniques.
In the past, employees have been able to study part time, either for a chemistry or business-related degree. However, part-time study for science degrees in particular at universities has become less common and there are fewer opportunities for this route to be taken.
Hammond says: “I studied for my chemistry degree part-time and I think for a practical subject such as science this has many advantages both to the student and the employer.
“I hope that the increase in tuition fees and the current focus on apprenticeships will encourage universities to rethink their strategies on part time education.”
Melbourn Scientific also works with undergraduates from a selection of universities, taking them on for six-10 week projects, either in the office for students on an entrepreneurship course or in the lab for chemistry students.
The company is gold sponsor of the DDL22 (Drug Delivery to the Lung) conference in Edinburgh from December 7-9. To encourage young people to study analytical chemistry – a field of science where practical laboratory experience during a degree is invaluable – the conference has introduced an award for “those who do the research, not their stuffy old boss or academic supervisor.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Mark Hammond