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Process Engineer Degree Apprenticeship

Location Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-069918 Date posted 01/03/2020

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven bio-pharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world's most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives and are made to feel valued, energized and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

At AstraZeneca we believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible. We make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you to see what you can achieve. We need great people who share our passion for science and have the drive and determination to meet the unmet needs of patients around the world. If you’re curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

Our scientific research and development is afforded the utmost respect so we give our people the same. We do everything we can to make sure each AstraZeneca person has everything they need to stretch themselves and see what they can achieve.

Where you start your journey with us doesn't determine the course of your career. So many of our people develop themselves beyond their wildest imaginations, both in terms of their roles and the countries they've worked in. We don't limit their capabilities by what's possible from them now but by what's possible from them in the future.

Our Degree Level Apprenticeship Programme in Pharmaceutical Technology and Development (PT&D) offers a unique opportunity for a five year, real alternative to full-time university, with the opportunity to study for a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering. PT&D turns innovative drug candidates into medicines that help millions of people. We work across the entire value chain, designing and delivering active ingredients, formulations and devices required to support new medicines; from supplies used in clinical trials, to developing the technology to ensure drugs can be scaled up for commercial manufacture.

As an AstraZeneca Apprentice in PT&D you will have a unique opportunity to learn within a multi-national company gaining useable skills whilst working closely alongside industry experts and professionals. The workplace experience acquired during your apprenticeship will ensure you develop the skills to provide good prospects for future scientific positions in AstraZeneca and the pharmaceutical industry in general.

In addition to gaining valuable working experience you will have the opportunity to study towards professional qualifications dependant on your chosen department whilst earning a competitive salary.  You will be supported throughout your apprenticeship by mentors and managers committed to developing your full potential within AstraZeneca. 

The apprenticeship programme commences annually in September at the Macclesfield site and we are offering a Process Engineer Degree Apprenticeship within Pharmaceutical Technology and Development.  In this role you will undertake a 5 year training programme within our Pilot Plant and will have opportunities to experience Process Safety, Engineering and Particle Size Reduction sections. 

During this training programme, you will contribute to the Clinical Supply and Manufacture organization by applying your learning to facilitate support to:

  • Assist in safety assessments of synthetic processes prior to them being performed in the Pilot Plant facilities, to support the development programme of new candidate drugs.
  • Assist in the planning and scale up manufacturing to Kg quantities of bulk drug and carry out multi-stage synthetic processes to support the development programme of new candidate drugs.
  • Assist in manufacturing bulk drug for new product development in the required quantity and of the correct quality to meet the development timetable.
  • Assist in Particle Size Reduction manufacture to support new product development to meet the development timetable.
  • Assist in the coordination of plant/material logistics & management of Safe Systems of Work to support the manufacture of bulk drug to meet the development timetable

Please note that this role requires shift working (Monday to Friday, 12 hour days and 12 hour nights).  You will not be eligible to work night shifts if you are under 18 years of age.  In addition to your salary you will be entitled to a shift disturbance allowance when undertaking shift work

This role will follow the Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer (Degree) Apprenticeship standard and further information of the apprenticeship standard can be found at;

As part of the apprenticeship you will work towards gaining a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering with our training provider.

Your apprenticeship will provide you with transferable core skills and knowledge. In addition, you will gain skills specific to the working practices of your department. The requirements of the Apprenticeship are designed to offer stretch and progression.

Further training as required will be confirmed at the start of the apprenticeship. Training to be part of the contracted hours making up the working week.

Additionally, successful apprentices will be eligible to apply for Incorporated Engineer (IEng), through a relevant licensed (by Engineering Council) Professional Engineering Institution (PEI) e.g. IChemE, IMechE.

Essential skills/capabilities required:

  • Passion for science
  • Good communication skills
  • Good team working skills
  • High organisation skills and confidence to work independently
  • Logical thinking to be able to apply processes
  • The ability to apply a rational approach to problem solving; making judgments based on sound reasoning, approaching problems in a logical manner
  • Concerns for standards
  • High numeracy and literacy skills
  • Computer literacy
  • The ability to learn
  • Self-motivation
  • Initiative

Entry Requirements:

We are looking for candidates with;

  • Five GCSEs (or equivalent) grades A*–C or 9-4 including Maths, English and Science.
  • To have achieved or predicted to achieve a minimum of 136 UCAS points on the 2018 tariff including Chemistry, Maths and Physics (A, A, B at A-level), but consideration will be given to other combinations of education and engineering experience.

To apply for this position, please click the apply link below

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. AstraZeneca only employs individuals with the right to work in the country/ies where the role is advertised.

This will be a 5 year Fixed Term Contract opportunity based at Macclesfield with a competitive salary on offer.

Opening date of advert:  3rd January 2020

Closing date of advert:   19th March 2020

Successful candidates will be notified after the closing date and will be asked to attend an Assessment day during week commencing 27th April 2020 in Macclesfield.

If you share our passion for scientific excellence, find out more at

These positions are not open to those already educated to Bachelors degree level or above – for which we have specific Graduate Programmes, see our website for more details

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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