ACTAVIS UK Ltd has always recognised the need to focus on growing its own talent as a part of ensuring it can develop and retain the skills an advanced manufacturer requires.
An active supporter of apprenticeships, it is a regular at the annual North Devon Apprenticeship Showcase.
Actavis launched its own apprenticeship programme a few years ago and has recruited more than 20 apprentices across a range of disciplines within the organisation. They have all made excellent progress, with all those who have completed their qualifications so far being offered permanent roles within the company.
This year Actavis has taken the next step and is working with the Government to help shape the future of apprenticeships by becoming part of the Trailblazer initiative that puts employers at the centre of apprenticeship reform, aiming to make them more responsive to the need of employers.
The employer-led Trailblazers comprise leading large and small employers and professional bodies.
These employers have been collaborating to design apprenticeships for occupations within their sector.
Actavis has become a Trailblazer company for the life sciences and industrial sciences sector and has helped to create the new standard for laboratory technician and science manufacturing technician apprenticeships.
These standards are two of the 11 being published in Phase 1. These standards will be delivered from September 2014, so that from this date all apprentices training for these occupations will be working towards the achievement of an employer-designed standard.
In recognition of the hard work and commitment from organisations in preparing these standards, a celebration event was hosted at Downing Street, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week.
Hilary Jeffreys, technical transfer manager at Actavis, who represented Actavis in the Trailblazer group, attended the event marking the official milestone of the publication of this first set of standards.
Being involved at this early stage has meant Actavis is very much a "trailblazer of trailblazers", having developed the design from scratch and helped create the process that other employers will follow as this project enters the second phase.
Sara Vincent, VP UK and Ireland at Actavis, said: "We continually seek to develop the skills of our workforce.
"Being a Trailblazer company is a fantastic opportunity that puts employers at the heart of developing new apprenticeship standards and is another great tool in our mission to grow our own talent."