In an exciting double celebration today, the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) proudly announces the enrolment of its 300th apprentice onto the programme and the successful completion of its 50th apprenticeship. These significant milestones highlight the remarkable growth and impact of ATAC in the field of advanced therapies.
ATAC originated as a single cohort comprising 17 apprentices from eight prominent companies engaged in advanced therapies, including Autolus Therapeutics, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Cobra Biologics (now part of Charles River Laboratories Group), GSK, NHS Blood and Transplant, Oxford Biomedica, Pharmaron, and Replimune. These employers joined an ATMP-specific and industry-devised version of the Level 5 Technician Scientist apprenticeship with the University of Kent. Since this first apprenticeship programme in 2018, ATAC has since grown to a total of 19 programmes.
Taking on an apprentice can be a daunting prospect for an organisation, regardless of its size. However, their involvement with the ATAC network proved invaluable as it provided mutual support, guidance, and a sense of camaraderie for both the employers and their apprentices. Such a success were the apprenticeship endeavours of these pioneering eight companies, that every single one of them has gone on to utilise apprenticeships in later years to both bring new talent into their businesses and upskill and develop their existing staff.
Each of our now 300 apprentices, has not only made real contributions to the growth of the advanced therapies industry in the UK, but continues to advocate for and fly the flag for apprenticeships by participating in outreach, careers events, work experience activities, National Apprenticeship Week events, and even high-profile political events, including the annual conferences for our two main political parties. Everywhere an ATAC apprentice goes, interest in apprenticeships is piqued. This is demonstrated through the growth of the ATAC Network, which is now made up of 56 employers.
ATAC’s success highlights that apprenticeships are suitable for individuals from all walks of life. Its apprentices range from recent school leavers taking their first steps into the professional world to senior managers and directors seeking to enhance their skills and assume greater responsibilities. The programme prides itself on its diverse cohort, boasting an almost equal gender split.
Today is a very exciting day, a testament to the 300 talented apprentices that will prove invaluable to the future of the UK’s advanced therapies industry, and to the 56 organisations that have invested their time, efforts and talents to ensure their apprentices have the best experience possible.