Transforming the Yorkshire Bioeconomy


Transforming the Yorkshire Bioeconomy

The Great British Brain Drain was a major reason for the creation of the economic north-south divide, which found many university cities losing their graduates to London, especially high achievers.

The National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) in York is a major contributor to Yorkshire’s bioeconomy by offering young people the opportunity to obtain qualifications and gain hands-on experience in the real world, whilst getting paid to do their job. Two years ago NAFIC had two apprentices which has now increased to more than 100, with more starting later in the year.

Fera and Covance, both based at NAFIC, have come together in partnership to create a formal training entity: the National Science Training Centre (NSTC) for the next generation of talent.

It is hoped that by offering an alternative to traditional educational provision in science, which all too often produces graduates who still don’t know how laboratories work, the centre can deliver what the employers need, when they need it.

“It makes sense that a like-minded group of employers, particularly in the science sector, come together to do that,” says Philippa Hobby, Business Support Manager at Fera.

“It’s also about local links, right down to school level, so that we have a recruitment pipeline.”

Fera currently has eight apprentices - six lab technicians and two lab scientists and plan to expand their offering by introducing Level 7 (masters) and add more subjects such as marketing and IT.

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