National apprenticeship week – Five questions with senior analyst, Will Smith

Will is a senior analyst at Glass Technology Services working in the chemistry department. He has been with the company for over six years after joining us as an apprentice on an Applied Science Apprenticeship.

Why did you consider an apprenticeship?

I wanted to gain experience while learning. At school the focus is learning, but my parents always said how important experience was. I couldn’t get experience alongside learning at University but I could with an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are really great, you don’t only get the qualification you get a lot of opportunities alongside it – whether that’s further learning opportunities, presenting to customers or getting involved in internal groups – there’s a lot to benefit from.

What was your initial role vs now? ie what progression have you made?

I started as an apprentice analyst and once I’d finished my apprenticeship I became an analyst. As I took on more responsibility and gained more experience I was promoted to a senior analyst position. In addition, I am now undertaking a chemistry degree with the Open University which I am due to complete in September. My goal was always to gain a degree and to be able to do that alongside an apprenticeship is a win-win for me.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day consists of pharmaceutical glassware testing. Recently I have been working a lot on delamination studies for our pharmaceutical customers but also pharmacopeia which is used in the container sector.

I am also responsible for calibrations as part of quality and health and safety systems. This involves checking equipment is up to date with its calibration and services which is important to remain compliant and ensure accurate results.

What was the best thing about your apprenticeship?

Growing up, I always liked science and my apprenticeship provided a really good opportunity to be able to learn a science-based subject while also getting hands on practical experience in the lab. Another huge reason was my apprenticeship allowed me to be financially independent and eventually move out of home at 22 – I felt this allowed me to progress my personal life much quicker than if I had gone the university route where at 22, I may have only just being starting out in my career.

What would you say to others thinking about an apprenticeship?

Simply, go for it, you’ve nothing to lose – you gain experience, knowledge and get paid for it.

When it comes to an apprenticeship, you not only see yourself develop, but you also get to see the business develop as you apply your learnt skills and that is really rewarding and beneficial to everyone involved.

Are you looking for an apprenticeship?

We're currently hiring for the role of apprentice environmental monitoring technician. 

The successful candidate will assist the team with the analysis of furnace emissions, ensuring all equipment is maintained and calibrated and assisting with report writing and processing test results. The postholder will spend approximately 50% of their time out on site and the remaining time will be spent travelling around the UK with occasional overnight stays.

Find out more and apply by emailing

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