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Science Manufacturing Technician Pilot

We are working with NHS trust employers to run a Science Manufacturing Technician pilot for 30 apprentices.

Benefits for all

This national pilot supports the implementation of a two-year Science Manufacturing Technician (SMT) apprenticeship training pathway in NHS pharmacy technical services facilities, by providing enhanced funding support to participating Trusts.

This Level 3 Apprenticeship will be utilised, as part of a wider specialist technical services career pathway, to develop a new unregistered workforce. It is one of the ways of addressing an identified workforce gap.

The cohort of 30 SMT apprentices started in March 2021.

The pilot will be evaluated and the learning shared.

There are significant benefits for all, including: 

  • Developing capability of the pharmacy technical services support staff workforce to reduce the workforce skills gap
  • Addressing key barriers to adoption of this apprenticeship route by NHS technical services employers nationally
  • Contributing to the widening participation agenda, apprenticeship levy use, and public sector apprenticeship targets

Enhanced funding allocation pilot

We invited NHS Trusts to submit an expression of interest to take part in the pilot. Upon review, funding to support 30 apprentices was allocated across 20 trusts:

London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

  • Barking, Havering And Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Midlands and East

  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norfolk And Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


  • Calderdale And Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust


  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Support for the pilot apprentices

All trainees will have a work-based educational supervisor who will oversee the training programme and practice/clinical supervisors in each rotation. 

Training structure

The SMT Apprenticeship includes the following:

Education provision

Employers may undertake their own procurement exercise for the apprenticeship provision or utilise the Salisbury 'SMT Apprenticeship (Level 3 Diploma in the Principles of Aseptic Pharmaceuticals Processing) Procurement Framework’. West Suffolk College has been approved as a provider on this framework. ​It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure access to apprenticeship levy funds.

Contact us

For more information, please contact pharmacyteam@hee.nhs.uk.