Public Health England: Sabiha Jahen and Maia Dean

Two young apprentices in Bristol are currently taking advantage of the career progression available at Public Health England


Public Health England (PHE) has a wide and varied apprenticeship scheme in both scientific and non-scientific disciplines.

One of our most popular scientific apprenticeships is the laboratory technician at level 3. This is an entry-level step into science and can lead to career progression along various scientific pathways.

Two of our young apprentices in Bristol are currently taking advantage of such career progression. Sabiha Jahen and Maia Dean joined PHE in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and completed their laboratory technician level 3 apprenticeship standard, gaining a distinction in early 2020.

They have both been successful in securing permanent employment with PHE and are now moving up to undertake their healthcare science practitioner degree level apprenticeship (life sciences pathway). This will lead to full biomedical scientist accreditation. They are a great example of career pathways using apprenticeship standards in action.

Sabiha said of her apprenticeship: “I have really enjoyed doing a level 3 apprenticeship in laboratory science, specialising in Bacteriology. I received a lot of support from the provider, CSR, the training team at PHE and my colleagues. The apprenticeship has allowed me to implement the knowledge I learned in class to real life as I was able to use what I learnt in class in my day-to-day job.”

“Further to the completion of my apprenticeship, I was able to secure a permanent job in virology, this allowed me to have invaluable experience in the virology laboratory during the pandemic. This apprenticeship has been a fundamental stepping stone and due to the successful completion of it, I was able to apply for and secure a place for the level 6 apprenticeship in bacteriology. This will allow me to progress on my career path to becoming a biomedical scientist, which wouldn’t have been possible without first completing the level 3.”

Maia and Sabiha will both be undertaking the four-year degree programme with Staffordshire University.

This career progression pathway will, by the end of their studies, have meant a continuous six-year employment journey with PHE and shows how apprenticeships can work to retain quality staff, build not only our scientists of the future but also support the women in science campaign.


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