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Four apprentices have been recognised as exceptional in their fields as part of the RSB’s Apprentice of the Year award.

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 From left to right: Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw and Olivia Waugh

The Award, now in its third year, celebrates apprentices that are going above and beyond in their roles, as well as support others including those thinking about embarking on an apprenticeship.

The award was split into two groups, to celebrate apprentices working at different levels in the sector. In group 1, apprentices studying at Levels 3-4 were recognised. In group 2, apprentices studying at Levels 5 + were eligible.

Apprentice of the Year Award for Group 1 has gone to Olivia Waugh, a laboratory technician apprentice at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). Olivia has been recognised for her initiative to learn, and providing inspiration and training for other apprentices.

Apprentice of the Year Award for Group 2 has been received by Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw, a laboratory scientist apprentice at the University of Nottingham. Tyler has received the award in recognition for her leadership skills, and representing apprentices outside her direct area of work.

Olivia and Tyler will receive £250 alongside one year’s free RSB membership and free Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) or Registered Scientist (RSci) professional recognition on receipt of a successful application.

Alongside Olivia and Tyler, the judges have also recognised two apprentices as Highly Commended – Mohammed Hussain at University of Leeds, and Molly Robinson at GlaxoSmithKline.

The judges felt that all the applications received were of a very high standard, and the two winners were commended for how they represent apprentices and advocate for the apprentice route into a science career.

Commenting on her win, Olivia said: “To have been acknowledged by the Royal Society of Biology is an achievement that leaves me with no words that can express my gratitude. My apprenticeship has taught me a multitude of skills that I will carry through my career, as well as allowing me to make friends along the way, and start my Level 6 apprenticeship to continue my journey with CPI.”

After receiving the award, Tyler said: “I deeply appreciate this award and the recognition it brings. I am grateful for all those who have opened up opportunities for apprentices, like myself, to feedback into apprenticeship development. Thus enabling apprentices to help shape the future of apprenticeships in science.”

Dr Jacqui Piner, RSB trustee and former Scientific Director at GSK, award judge commented: “As a member of the judging panel, I was genuinely impressed by the high standard of the applications.  It was heartening to see evidence of apprentices actively embracing opportunities to build technical knowledge and expertise, while also enthusiastically exploiting possibilities to further their personal and professional development.

“Apprenticeships for our future biologists have a positive impact on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.  For the apprentice, there is the opportunity to gain real-life work experience in a professional environment while studying for academic qualifications and earning a salary.  For the employer, this is an effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated and qualified workforce equipped with skills needed in the future.”

The Apprentice of the Year Awards were announced at the RSB Annual Awards Ceremony on 6th October at Carlton House Terrace, as part of this year’s Biology Week.