Well done Theo. 

Our Apprentice Lab Technician has just passed with a Distinction! 

As this week is National Apprenticeship Week, it’s only correct that we put the spotlight on our Tiro Apprentice, Theo Buffery. Particularly as Theo has just attained a Distinction in TIRO’s Level 3 Lab Technician programme. Something that we’re all extremely proud of. Not least, Theo himself.

I had the opportunity of catching up with Theo recently to discuss his apprenticeship, his highlights and the challenges he’s encountered too. We must also say, it’s been a delight working with the TIRO team and we have already recruited a new apprentice, thanks to the programme and we wish him all the best too. (Jamie Lau.) 

For now, we’re ensuring Theo enjoys his well-deserved moment in the spotlight:

Theo, first of all, well done. What a great achievement, attaining your Level 3, and with a distinction too. How do you feel? 

Thank you. Well, relieved first of all. But no, it’s great, I’m really pleased with the result. 

How have you found the apprenticeship overall? 

It’s been a very positive experience. At first I wondered whether I would be able to juggle everything, working on the job and studying at the same time, but I’ve had so much support that has made it extremely smooth sailing and satisfying. 

Has the support been a key highlight would you say? 

Yes, absolutely. Here on-site I’ve had the support of the Directors, as well as Trevor (lead chemist and manager) who has really taken me under his wing and taught me so much. He’s been indispensable to my learning process. Also, I’ve been thoroughly supported by TIRO, and have had regular catch-ups with my course tutor Aaron. His feedback has also been essential and again, very encouraging. 

Have there been many challenges? I’m not going to put you in a spin if we talk about those? 😉 

No, not at all, it’s all part of the learning process as they say… I guess at the beginning it was finding the rhythm of working and learning at the same time. However I was really supported in those early stages. Trying to put new methodologies in place to improve product quality and optimise processes, I would say, has been a double-edged sword – difficult sometimes, but also very rewarding to see those efficiencies realised. 

Any other highlights? 

If I can say without sounding too sure of myself, I feel I have a solid capacity to learn and this has led to me being involved in quite complicated processes and improvement schemes. I take part in the regular quality control meetings as well as assisting in resolving the ad hoc issues that arise in manufacturing.

What would you say has been the best moment during your apprenticeship? 

It has to be being promoted whilst fulfilling my apprenticeship. I am now Lab Controller responsible for setting and monitoring processes. We also have another apprentice who has joined the team – Jamie. I’m really enjoying supporting Jamie too, whilst continuing my studies.

I’d just like to add a note about Aaron, my tutor, he’s been really supportive and fast in responding to any concerns I have. He’s made me feel as though I’m his only student, and I know that’s not the case! 

Well done Theo. We’re all so pleased for you here at APS and encouraged by what you’ve achieved so far. We’re looking forward to these important next steps and to see you attain your Level 6 / BsC Hons. I would also like to extend thanks to the TIRO team, both Theo’s tutor and our account manager Hayley Hannaford. Vince Lunn – Director APS

I have had the pleasure of working with Theo since around May 2023 where I took over as tutor on his apprenticeship programme. It was clear quite early on just how knowledgeable Theo is within his job role and how well regarded he is at APS. Theo has already made great strides on his L3 lab technician apprenticeship under the stewardship of Trevor Snyman to be trusted with being in charge of and changing processes and procedures. Theo is extremely technical and has an awesome attention to detail which was apparent through my visits to observe him in the workplace and what he was able to talk to me about. 

Theo has been a superb apprentice on his programme, being professional, systems and procedural driven, and has demonstrated how he can improve workplace processes along the way. He was able to complete his Level 3 with a distinction which I was not surprised about!

This was through demonstrating in his EPA his knowledge on the tests, his practical ability in the observation and his examples given of real-world situations in the workplace used as evidence in his structured interview. With Theo’s abilities shown to me and showcased through his portfolio and EPA, he is an ideal candidate to move into the L6 degree apprenticeship programme and will thrive in this environment. – Aaron/Tutor Tiro