Oxford Biomedica is a founding employer of the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC), being part of the programme since it launched in 2018 and is the first employer to have apprentices across all of ATAC’s apprenticeship programmes, from Levels 3 to 7.

The challenge: tackling the need for advanced skills through apprenticeships

Before recruiting and upskilling talent through the ATAC programme, Oxford Biomedica’s approach was to only hire highly experienced candidates or university graduates for their roles. Continuing to hire from such a limited recruitment base was going to become problematic and a potential barrier to Oxford Biomedica attracting future talent for company growth.

Oxford Biomedica identified ATAC through an industry connection and started considering how apprentices could be factored into their future talent acquisition plans to address their skills gap. Julie Copperthwaite, Head of Recruitment and Early Careers at Oxford Biomedica said,

“We could not attract the number of experienced people fast enough”.

After seriously considering how they could factor apprentices into addressing their skills gap, Oxford Biomedica decided to make them a part of their future talent plan. Julie adds,

“We became part of the pioneering group of employers to look at apprentices as an option and we haven’t looked back since.”


The impact: supporting Oxford Biomedica towards meeting their skills gap

The ATAC initiative provided Oxford Biomedica with a structured programme that allowed them to significantly deliver on their skills demands.

The ATAC team provided an organisational perspective of the programme and directly helped the apprentices through providing opportunities to network in the community, further developing their people skills. Support, such as this from the ATAC team, is necessary for companies who are new to apprenticeships, so that their apprentices can learn and grow as they work.

Oxford Biomedica started with offering one apprenticeship course and added more as they adapted to this new way of working. Julie noted,

“We would not have considered this option without ATAC.”