Kent Science Park (KSP) based company AbBaltis Ltd has successfully started a work experience scheme for students wanting to understand the application of science and medical diagnostics in a professional environment. Despite being only a small business itself, AbBaltis has so far hosted four work experience placements over the summer, ranging from school students through to University graduates. The intention is that as the business grows, AbBaltis will be able to accommodate more students interested in the subject and expose them to further elements of medical diagnostics. The wide spectrum of work experience requests so far shows that there is high demand for scientific placements in the area.
The scheme has stemmed from the view that there is a discrepancy between what is being taught in an educational environment and what is applicable in the workplace. Work experience at AbBaltis teaches students the basic skills needed in a laboratory, alongside communication skills and how to behave in a professional environment. The placements, which are carried out in the AbBaltis laboratories at KSP, have been a phenomenal success, giving the students exposure to real-life scientific concepts. They have also been incredibly beneficial to the AbBaltis team itself, who have developed a greater level of responsibility by managing the students’ day-to-day activities.
Giedre Brandao, Managing Director at AbBaltis, commented on why she is offering these work experience placements, “We are giving something back to the local community by providing young people with an opportunity to see what a job in the science industries is really like. It is much more difficult to get scientific work experience than anything else, which is a shame because it is invaluable in giving students a well-rounded perspective of the industry. It teaches skills that you don’t learn in schools or University and shows that there is an element of manual labour to the job as well. Providing the tasks are 100% safe, I give my work experience students real things to do, and the feedback has been so positive that they want to return to AbBaltis in the future.”
Natasha Shersby is a local grammar-school student who participated in work experience with AbBaltis over the summer. She commented, “My time at AbBaltis was very rewarding and immensely helpful. I accumulated a variety of skills, which will benefit me in the future, and have explored a number of different options available in the world of diagnostics. I was given the opportunity to observe the work conducted in the laboratories and this provided me with the knowledge of practical skills I need to develop further in order to be successful in this profession. During my work experience I was fully integrated within the business, meaning that I was able to improve my teamwork and communication skills as well.”
James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, added, “We are always looking for ways to immerse young people in the science that is taking place on Kent Science Park, so it is wonderful to see one of our tenants opening its doors to work experience students wanting to do just that. Work experience placements, apprenticeships and internships all provide a platform for young people to explore a career in science and can be incredibly beneficial to the host companies as well. AbBaltis is an excellent example of a business that is nurturing future talent to ensure the longevity of quality science in the UK.”