Click here to apply


Wage: £7.00 – £8.00 per hour

Hours: Monday – Friday, 40 hours per week

Location: Bournemouth, BH10

Expected duration: 21 months

Brief overview of the role

The successful candidate will assist in sample processing of food, water, environmental and cosmetics samples for microbiological analysis and related support activities.

Vacancy description

Training will be given on all aspects with the expectation that the successful candidate will have a thorough understanding and high level of competence at the end of the apprenticeship.

Microtech Services (Wessex) Ltd is a privately owned microbiology laboratory and consultancy service specialising in the food, water, environmental and cosmetics production sectors. It handles a very wide variety of samples from big and small customers from all over the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. It also undertakes specific microbiological projects for individual companies such as catering and TV production companies to investigate topics of interest. The company is accredited to ISO 17025 and aims to provide a customized personal service of the highest standard.

Currently the company has 18 employees and is looking for an apprentice to help with the sample processing aspects of the organisation. This will involve:

  • production of culture media for growing bacteria, yeasts and moulds from the samples
  • the use, monitoring and calibration of thermometers, pH meters, pipettors, balances, autoclaves and sterilizing ovens as well as more specialized equipment for processing food and water samples.

Once competence in the use of the relevant equipment  has been established, the apprentice will help with:

  • sample registration,
  • sample portion weighing and dilution,
  • inoculation of culture media
  • incubation of the test media.

The apprentice will be expected to follow documented standard operational procedures and be able to record all findings in accordance with the laboratory’s quality system in order to ensure the integrity of the results. The staffing structure is fluid and the apprentice will be working as part of a team of 2 – 6 people depending upon the activity and staffing need to cover the work demands.

Desired skills

  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Ability to communicate clearly
  • Good organisational and time management skills
  • Able to work as part of a team or as an individual
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Good concentration

Personal qualities

  • Strong interest in science
  • An enthusiastic desire to learn
  • Good inter-personal skills
  • “Can-do” attitude
  • Able to cope in a fast-paced environment
  • Willingness to work extra hours as part of a team when required
  • Willingness to take part in continual improvement
  • Good timekeeping

Desired qualifications

Level C or equivalent in GCSE Maths, English and Science

Driving licence an advantage as may be asked to collect samples within a 20 mile radius

Future prospects

Once the apprenticeship has been completed, there may be opportunities within the company for further training and promotion to a supervisory position with appropriate salary increases. If the apprentice shows the appropriate aptitude they might also progress to the diagnostic section, reading the results of the sample processing and performing confirmatory tests. The company might also support further progress to a higher level along the apprenticeship route.