Careers - Our people make UK SBS a great place to work

Meet Tom​​


Tom joined UK SBS as a Finance Apprentice in 2013 and on completion of his apprenticeship successfully secured a role with our Procurement team. Six years and several promotions later, Tom shares his experience of the apprenticeship and starting his career with UK SBS.

Choosing an apprenticeship

I’m a real champion for apprenticeships….looking back it was the right choice for me and I’m confident that having such a variety of experience around me and grabbing every opportunity to learn something new enabled me to progress much faster than if I stayed in full time education.

Joining the apprenticeship programme was my first full time office job and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do as a career. I was keen to get my foot in the door and create a positive impression with a highly regarded local employer. In my first year I learnt so much about the business, gained invaluable office experience and had lots of opportunities to show what I was capable of. On completing my apprenticeship, I was offered an opportunity to join the Procurement team as an administrator on a 12-month fixed term contract.

Carving out my career in procurement

I seized the opportunity to join Procurement and it certainly paid off. The role was really varied and enabled me to learn everything about the systems and processes at the heart of the service we provide. It was a steep learning curve – my motivation and commitment to developing my skills and improving how things were done were soon noticed and my responsibilities grew – and at the end of 12 months my contract had been extended.

A restructure of the department provided new opportunities and I stepped up to a Buyer role and it’s here my procurement career really started. Supported by colleagues and my line manager, I built my understanding of the fundamentals of public sector procurement and got the experience I needed to progress further. I took the next step up and started to build my experience in the research sector. I was really excited about building a specialism and taking on the challenge of learning about procurement strategy. After three years, I’ve been promoted to Category Manager and I’m a leading member of the Scientific Research Team.

Considering an apprenticeship?

If I could offer advice to someone starting out it would be to grab all the opportunities you can to learn and get hands on experience. An apprenticeship opens that door. No matter where your interest lies (and you might not know when you start out), the skills and knowledge you gain along the way are valuable and transferable whichever path you choose. Your desire to learn and commitment are just as important as your talent. These attributes are noticed by an employer like UK SBS who values and supports the development of its people.​​

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