Almac’s PATHWAY Points Newcastle Students In Right Direction For STEM Careers

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Students from Shimna Integrated College are among the first in Northern Ireland to take part in Almac’s new Schools Outreach Programme this academic year.

The Pathway™ programme, which promotes STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as the route to an exciting career, was launched at the leading pharmaceutical development firm’s headquarters in Craigavon.

[caption id="attachment_52704" align="alignleft" width="390"] Students from Shimna Integrated College have helped to launch Almac’s schools outreach programme, Pathway, which will involve over 500 A level and AS level students from across Northern Ireland this academic year. From left, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Employment and Learning, Derek Baker, Matthew Pringle-Rice and Karolis Kurmis from Shimna Integrated College and Stephen Barr, Managing Director of Almac’s Science business unit. Students from Shimna Integrated College have helped to launch Almac’s schools outreach programme, Pathway, which will involve over 500 A level and AS level students from across Northern Ireland this academic year. From left, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Employment and Learning, Derek Baker, Matthew Pringle-Rice and Karolis Kurmis from Shimna Integrated College and Stephen Barr, Managing Director of Almac’s Science business unit.[/caption]

Through the initiative over 500 A level and AS level students from across Northern Ireland will take part in tours of the different divisions of the company and meet scientists with varying backgrounds from across the Group, while others will take part in three day work experience placements.

Almac also has strong links with the local universities and each year offers placements to around 60 students on degree and postgraduate courses.

Alan Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of Almac, said: “As one of Northern Ireland’s leading businesses in the life sciences sector, we believe that we have a responsibility to encourage young people here to consider STEM careers which help to grow a dynamic and innovative economy.

“It’s important to us to welcome these students, tell them about what our business does and encourage them to continue studying STEM subjects as they provide an excellent grounding for many careers.”

Stephen Barr, Managing Director of Almac’s Sciences business unit, who oversees the Pathway™ programme, said: “Our STEM Ambassadors play a key role in the success of our Outreach programme. They are Almac employees who are keen to promote STEM subjects and the associated career pathways and they deliver presentations to school groups, facilitate onsite visits and host work experience placements.”

The initiative has been backed by the Department for Employment and Learning. Permanent Secretary of the Department, Derek Baker said: “For the future success of our economy it is vital that we encourage our young people to study STEM courses and educate them about the career opportunities available in the STEM-related industries in Northern Ireland.

“It’s reassuring that a leading global company like Almac is working with so many young people through its Pathway™ programme to give a valuable insight into what the company does, the interesting jobs that people there perform and the potential routes students can take to pursue successful careers in the sector.”

Alan McDonnell, Head of Chemistry at Shimna Integrated College, said: “Our students thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Almac. They were very impressed with the facilities shown during the tour. They had lots of questions and were very impressed with the responses from staff. The group enjoyed the talks given and were particularly impressed with the talk from one of the scientists about his journey into chemistry. We are delighted that a company like Almac is willing to provide these opportunities for our students.”

The outreach work is part of the company’s CSR strategy which also focuses on charity fundraising and environmental improvement. Over £20,000 has been raised for local charities, including Marie Curie, CLIC Sargent, Autism NI, Southern Area Hospice and Angels of Hope in the last year.

For schools interested in taking part in next year’s Pathway™ programme information is available at www.almacgroup.com/careers/almac-outreach

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Partnering to Advance Human Health

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over 30 years and now employs in excess of 3,500 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).

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