UCL Human Resources


Laboratory technician Level 3 apprenticeship

This level 3 programme cultivates skills, and knowledge for a lab career, including roles like Lab Assistant, Technician, Analytical Chemist, and more.

About the programme

This apprenticeship provides an opportunity to develop your knowledge skills and behaviours to pursue a career in the laboratory leading towards possibly, Laboratory assistant, Laboratory technician, Analytical Support Chemist, Technical Support Scientist, Microbiology Support Scientist, Analytical Chemist, Research and Development Scientist, Molecular Biologist. 

What is it?

An apprenticeship is an opportunity to develop your knowledge, skills and behaviours and/or upskill yourself to meet the professional needs of the department whilst in full-time employment. As a new employee to UCL as an apprentice you would join on the apprentice salary scale, as a current UCL staff member you remain on your current contract and salary scale. 

UCL, has 11 facilities, with over 14,000 staff catering for over 45,000 students, Apprenticeships offer great opportunities to grow and develop the skill sets within the team in professional services, technical community, and academic roles. 

The Laboratory technician apprenticeship standard is over 24 months period which will provide a foundation/opportunity to learn and practice the skills developing to the standards required to be met to achieve the apprenticeship at the appropriate level. The current training is provided via online sessions and with modular face-to-face assessment days off-site.

The broad purpose of the occupation is working at the forefront of technology to carry out both routine and one-off laboratory testing (and manufacturing where relevant) and perform a variety of technical support functions across the organisation.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with the laboratory manager and colleagues, internal departments such as manufacturing, procurement and quality, internal customers such as medical staff, teaching staff and students, external suppliers and customers such as service engineers, delivery drivers, regulatory bodies and inspection teams e.g. HSE.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for proactively finding solutions to problems and identifying areas for improving the business. Laboratory technicians are expected to work both individually and as part of a laboratory team. You will gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their own work. In any context working safely and ethically is paramount and many companies operate under highly regulated conditions. Laboratory technicians therefore follow quality procedures to meet the requirements of quality standards relevant to their work. This apprenticeship standard has been carefully designed with some of the requirements of certain relevant professional bodies in mind, but these are not mandatory to achieve the apprenticeship. 

Who is it for?

The apprenticeship programmes are suitable for school or college leavers who have a keen interest in developing a career in a laboratory or technical sector. This may also be suitable for career changers or graduates who wish to pursue a career in the Higher Education sector. 

Funding for the training is through the apprenticeship levy and there are specific eligibility criteria, that applicants need to meet, which includes residency status in the UK. We expect all applicants to have a minimum Level 4 (grade C, equivalency) or above in GCSE English and maths.

You will be fully supported throughout your apprenticeship by your line manager, a mentor, the HR apprenticeship team, and the training provider coaches.

The aim of the programme is to prepare you for a long-term career at UCL. You will be supported in making applications for permanent roles where applicable before the end of the apprenticeship.

For more information please see the Career progression pathways and opportunities

How do I apply?

As an early career apprentice

We work closely with partners in Camden, Newham and neighbouring boroughs to provide opportunities to local residents and school/college leavers, who will also offer support for making an application. 

All our early career vacancies are advertised on the ‘Find an apprentice’ website. Also on our UCL job page as well as on local job boards and with the training provider. All applications are managed on behalf of us by the training provider. 

Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an interview in person.

As a mid-career development apprenticeship

It is important to have an initial discussion as part of your appraisal career conversation or directly with your line manager and agree the apprenticeship standard, and level meets the departments, and your development needs as well as identifying the opportunity to meet the outcomes through the duration of the learning period. You must both have a good understanding of the content of the apprenticeship, the benefits and commitment required to successfully complete the apprenticeship. 

For the level of apprenticeship, you would need to show that by completing the apprenticeship you will be gaining a significant level of knowledge and skills which will help qualify you to do the job. 

Where there is a pilot cohort, please complete and submit the expression of interest for further information to be shared with you and your line manager.