It’s a chemical reaction

Bradford based detergent and hygiene chemical manufacturer, Christeyns works in partnership with the University of Huddersfield, to provide a yearlong opportunity for one undergraduate science student seeking work experience during the third year of their degree course.

Christeyns introduced the initiative in 2011 to fulfill their requirement for quality control technicians and to offer someone new to the world of work a solid start and a useful training programme that would provide skills for future roles.

Chris Stakes, who manages the programme at Christeyns says he himself found it hard to get experience as a student and many employers look for that when recruiting. “We offer a foot in the door through our placement scheme, an opportunity to learn the ropes and pick up some valuable skills. The role involves an introduction into the background of the products, where they are used in the wash process and how we test them.”

20-year old Hannah Smith has recently joined Christeyns as the seventh laboratory work experience student, having successfully won the 2017/18 placement.

Smith, who is studying forensics and analytical science, said she is really enjoying her role at Christeyns. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain hands on experience and I’m finding it really interesting. As we test such a wide range of products, no two days are the same.”

The placement period takes place over 13 and half months, with the initial intensive training programme run over a six-week period at the end of the outgoing student’s placement.

In April each year the University of Huddersfield are invited to put forward suitable candidates ready for a selection process around June. “It’s getting more and more difficult for students to obtain a work placement,” says Linda Meston, who looks after admissions, marketing and placement at the University of Huddersfield. “The support from companies like Christeyns is crucial and means we can advertise the post internally each year to all our chemistry and biological science students.”

Past work experience student Jodie Tarran who was selected for the Christeyns placement in 2011, returned to the firm following her graduation in 2013 to provide temporary cover. Tarran is now employed full time as a project technician in the lab at Rutland Street and able to pass on her experience helping to select and train new students.

As well as the paid work placement position, there are currently seven apprentices undergoing various programmes at Christeyns and a new talent academy scheme is being put into place with the aim of developing employees across all levels of the business.

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