Core considerations for radiopharmaceutical facility design and construction

Designing and constructing a radiopharmaceutical facility is a complex process that requires meticulous planning and expertise. Success in such a project hinges on several core considerations that lay the foundation for seamless integration, operations, compliance, and optimal functionality. In this article, we explore these essential factors that must be evaluated before embarking on a radiopharmaceutical design and build project.

Crystal clear production objectives

Defining clear and realistic production objectives is crucial. This includes considerations such as the start up and licensing schedule, selection of radioisotopes and molecules, batch size and scheduling, commercial scale-up plans, and adherence to regulatory and licensing frameworks. The maturity of process development, availability of funding, and equipment lead times are all factors to be taken into account.

The inclusion of an accelerator, typically a cyclotron, is a pivotal decision. This choice influences the facility’s configuration, structural design, and production capabilities. Factors like radioisotope selection, targetry choices, beamline configuration, target transfers, and shielding requirements must be carefully considered. Deciding between a self-shielded or unshielded accelerator requires a thorough evaluation.

Spatial dynamics: facility layout and controlled spaces

Efficient facility layout is essential to ensure operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, equipment integration, and potential future scale-up or equipment replacement. The strategic placement of major equipment within the facility is critical, and controlled spaces and specialised rooms must be incorporated to create a seamless journey from production to dispatch.

Radiopharmaceutical facility design must blend radiation-classified areas with conventional, non-radiological spaces. This integration includes secure receptions, storage areas, material and personnel transfer zones, laboratories, waste management, and administrative sectors. The goal is to create a holistic environment where radiological and non-radiological elements coexist harmoniously.

Treading the regulatory path: GMP and compliance

Adhering to medical regulatory standards and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is paramount in radiopharmaceutical design, whether for clinical or commercial-scale manufacturing. Integrating GMP requirements with radiological controls ensures that the facility operates efficiently and complies with quality and safety standards. This includes carefully integrating ventilation systems, air handling plants, discharge abatement, and environmental monitoring into the overall design.

Collaborative synergy: leveraging shared services

Designing and building a radiopharmaceutical facility requires a balance of technical expertise, meticulous planning, delivery experience, and a deep understanding of technical, radiological, and regulatory intricacies. This complex undertaking is a testament to the fusion of knowledge and experience that shapes radiopharmaceutical project delivery excellence.

With a commitment to innovation, meticulous attention to detail, and a proven portfolio of successful projects, Scitech offers guidance to bring these core considerations together into a harmonious and effective radiopharmaceutical facility design and construction.

For more information, contact us to learn how we can support your project.

Construction Cup ’24: A day of triumph, team spirit, and social impact at Selhurst Park

On May 23, 2024, the Construction Cup ’24 brought together 20 teams from across the construction industry for an exhilarating day of football at Selhurst Park, the home ground of Crystal Palace FC. The event featured a mix of competition, camaraderie, and a strong social message providing a memorable occasion for all involved.

Celebrating the champions

In a thrilling final match, Scitech Europe emerged victorious, clinching the Construction Cup ’24 title. The final was a nail-biter, with Jack Hurst of Scitech Europe scoring a last-minute equaliser to make it 2-2, forcing the match into a dramatic penalty shootout. Scitech Europe held its nerve to claim the top spot.

CPS Building Services secured second place after a remarkable tournament, highlighted by a stunning goal from their number 9, who scored from the halfway line, smashing the ball into the top corner during the semi-finals. AF Switch Gear took home third place, rounding out the top three.

In the Construction Cup Conference League, AVK-SEG claimed the winner’s trophy. Meanwhile, Academy Consulting‘s Sofia Weed delivered a standout performance by scoring the winning penalty in the third-place playoff.

A unique experience at a Premier venue

The event provided an exclusive experience for the participants. The pitch was transformed into four standard 5-a-side fields, offering a Champions League-style tournament format. Players had the unique opportunity to use the home or away dressing rooms and showers, enhancing the professional feel of the competition. Following the matches, everyone gathered in the Malcolm Allison Lounge to celebrate with complimentary drinks and meals.

Supporting a vital cause

The Construction Cup ’24 proudly partnered with Unseen, a UK charity dedicated to eradicating modern slavery. The event not only showcased football talent but also raised awareness about the ongoing issue of modern slavery in the construction industry. A total of 163 players from 20 companies participated, with each team’s entry fee contributing to Unseen’s efforts.

Unseen provided a poignant introduction before the kick-off, shedding light on the extent of modern slavery within the construction sector. The charity’s mission to create a world without slavery was a central theme of the day, reinforcing the importance of education and action to combat exploitation.

Influencing positive change through sport

The power of sport to influence positive change was evident throughout the Construction Cup ’24. The event served as a platform to promote the anti-slavery message, drawing attention to the 141 cases of labour exploitation reported in the construction industry in 2022 and the 543 potential victims identified.

Dave Grant, Managing Director of Scitech, emphasised the event’s impact: “Our engagement with the Construction Cup ’24 has inspired us to bolster the anti-slavery sections within our supply chain prequalification and monitoring arrangements. This isn’t merely about compliance; it’s about taking a stand, ensuring our practices reflect our ethos, and leading by example in our industry.”

Looking ahead

The Construction Cup ’24 team hopes the event will inspire companies across the construction industry to take meaningful actions against modern slavery. Unseen’s educational efforts aim to equip workers with the knowledge and confidence to identify and report signs of exploitation, fostering a safer and more ethical working environment.

For more information and to support Unseen’s vital work, visit our Just Giving page.

Final Standings

Construction Cup ’24:
1. Scitech Europe
2. CPS Building Services
3. AF Switch Gear

Construction Cup Conference League:
Winner: AVK-SEG

Scitech to attend SNMMI Annual Meeting in Toronto

We are excited to attend the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Annual Meeting in Toronto from June 8-11. Recognised as the premier educational, scientific, research, and networking event in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, this meeting provides a unique platform to showcase Scitech’s expertise in the field.

Leading radiopharmaceutical expertise

Our subject matter experts are skilled at working with companies to develop or expand their nuclear medicine facilities, leveraging two decades of experience to manage the varied complexities of these projects. Our teams provide consultancy services and deliver full lifecycle projects for clients worldwide, with experience covering all stages of design and engineering services, from early strategic and technical advice to construction, qualification and validation, and regulatory compliance.

Over the course of four days, the SNMMI Annual Conference will offer attendees, including physicians, technologists, pharmacists, laboratory professionals, and scientists, a comprehensive exploration of the latest research and developments in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. Moreover, it will delve into practical applications tailored for clinical settings, ensuring a well-rounded understanding of the industry’s advancements.

Showcasing radiopharmaceutical facility design

Representing Scitech at the event will be Dave Grant, Managing Director of Scitech Ltd; Marlous van der Hooft, Managing Director of Scitech GmbH; and Mark Randle, Scitech Sales Manager. They will showcase Scitech’s 20 years of continuous experience delivering a wide range of radiopharmaceutical projects.

Dave Grant commented: “The advancements in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging hold immense promise. These current strides are laying the foundation for improved diagnostics and more precisely targeted therapies, offering a brighter outlook for patient well-being. As we look to the future, we anticipate even more innovative applications and breakthroughs that will transform how we understand and treat various medical conditions. It is an exciting time to be part of this field, and we are committed to contributing to its growth and development.”

For more information about Scitech’s radiopharmaceutical services or to schedule a meeting with our experts at the SNMMI Annual Meeting, please visit our website or contact Dave, Marlous, or Mark. You can find us at booth 1930.

Moving more for your mental health

Scitech observes Mental Health Awareness Week with active participation.

At Scitech, we work hard throughout the year to ensure that we are not just paying lip service to mental health; we’re actively engaged in fostering a culture where mental well-being is a priority, every single day. But that’s not to say that we don’t embrace Mental Health Awareness Week and the opportunities it provides to further raise awareness of what help is available and how we should all be looking out for each other. 

Our Mental Health Week activities

Kicking off the week, we emphasized the importance of movement for mental well-being. Encouraging our colleagues to take breaks, embrace walking meetings, and incorporate physical activity into their daily routines, we highlighted the undeniable link between physical and mental health. It was a reminder that small changes in our habits can make a significant difference in our overall well-being.

As the week progressed, we delved into the world of literature on Tuesday, with colleagues sharing inspiring books and personal insights. This exploration of the written word served as a reminder of the power of storytelling and how it can offer solace and perspective during challenging times.

Wednesday saw us focusing on the importance of stretching and movement exercises to alleviate muscular tension and promote relaxation. By incorporating these simple exercises into our daily routines, we were reminded of the interconnectedness of mind and body, and the importance of self-care.

Thursday brought a spotlight on Adrian Jones, a colleague whose dedication to cycling serves as a testament to the benefits of physical activity for mental health. Adrian’s candid insights into his fitness journey resonated deeply with us, reinforcing the idea that physical exercise can be a form of therapy in itself.

Our activities will culminate today (17 May) in a “Listen and Share” session, where colleagues have the opportunity to open up about their own mental health experiences. This session aims to foster a sense of community and solidarity as we listen, empathise, and support one another.

As we reflect on Mental Health Awareness Week, we are reminded of the importance of prioritising mental health not just during this designated week but every single day.

Scitech earns AZCAS quality award

We are proud to announce that Scitech has been recognised at the AstraZeneca Construction and Safety (AZCAS) awards, where we received a quality award in collaboration with BGEN, the project fit-out contractor. The accolade acknowledges our significant contribution to the Mechanical Completion (A1) handover process throughout the Zoladex programme in 2023.

Chris Leman, EMEA C&Q Portfolio Lead at AstraZeneca, said: “The A1 handover process was pivotal to the project, requiring meticulous attention to detail and adherence to strict safety standards. From rigorous CTOP reviews to numerous walkdowns, the Scitech team navigated the challenges with resilience and commitment, ensuring milestones were met with precision and safety was paramount.”

Integral to this success were the comprehensive Commissioning and Qualification Safe System of Work (C&Q SSOW) and Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) procedures developed by Scitech. These meticulously crafted protocols not only facilitated smooth operations, but also set a benchmark for global best practices that AstraZeneca aims to implement moving forward.

Furthermore, Scitech’s support in the Continuous API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) processes this time in conjunction with Mace and bolstered the efficiency of the project A1 handover process, underscoring its versatility and collaborative spirit in complex project environments.

Dave Grant, Scitech Managing Director, said: “The recognition at the AZCAS awards reaffirms Scitech’s commitment to excellence and safety in every facet of its operations, setting a standard in the industry.”

Spotlight on Joanna Finch, HR Adviser and Mental Health First Aider

Embarking on a mission to prioritise employee well-being, Scitech launched a comprehensive wellbeing programme with a dedicated team of mental health first aiders. Here we talk to HR Adviser Joanna Finch, who oversees the initiative, to delve deeper into its impact and implementation.

Eroding mental health taboos

“There’s been a significant shift in recent years in the public consciousness about the importance of mental health,” says Joanna. “Slowly, we are seeing taboos broken down and people are speaking out. However, there is still more to be done and we know that the construction industry is particularly vulnerable.”

Joanna explains: “Unfortunately, workers in construction continue to be some of the highest risk of suicide in the country, at 3.7 times higher than the national average according to the charity Mates in Mind. We operate within the construction sector, so we are keenly aware of this as an organisation.”

As an HR team, Joanna and her colleagues are continually looking for ways to improve employee wellbeing and ensuring that the organisation provides the right environment for people to be happy at work. At an HR networking event, the idea for Mental Health First Aiders first presented itself.

“In 2019, we attended an insightful talk by Katie Buckingham, the founder and director of Altruist Enterprises at the Surrey and Sussex HR Forum. Katie is extremely passionate about mental health issues, both in the workplace and in a wider setting,” explains Joanna. “She works in partnership with organisations to aid the development of emotionally intelligent managers, enabling them to support themselves and their teams more effectively. After the event, my colleague Emma Dawas (HR Director) and I met Katie to discuss ideas for training a number of our Employees to support colleagues who may be struggling with their mental health .”

Mental Health First Aiders

Scitech’s Mental Health First Aiders are volunteers trained by Mental Health First Aid England to provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis until professional help can be obtained or the situation is resolved. Similar to physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid training teaches participants how to recognise common mental health issues, offer initial assistance, and guide individuals toward appropriate professional support and resources.

Talking about why she decided to volunteer to become a Mental Health First Aider, Jo says: “I lost a family member to suicide, so I wanted to become a Mental Health First Aider for personal reasons. The initiative launched with six of us but it has now expanding to ten, with at least one Mental Health First Aider in every office.”

Providing a listening ear

Joanna explains that the role involves simple acts such as asking people how they are and, if you know someone is struggling, regularly checking in to see if they need extra support through the company’s Employee Assistance programme or other formal support schemes.

“We can’t undertake the role of counsellors, but we can support people to access help and actively look for signs that someone may be struggling,” Joanna says. “There are many reasons why someone may need help – bereavement, cancer, sickness absence, challenges associated with caring responsibilities can all impact our mental health.

Joanna adds: “We also understand that some employees may not feel comfortable confiding in their managers. So, as Mental Health First Aiders, we can be a listening ear and can signpost support to those in need.”

Supporting health and wellbeing at Scitech

The initiative is part of the wider Health and Wellbeing programme which is run by an employee committee. It has an annual programme of events ranging from webinars, staff talks, and sharing practical advice to improve the overall health and wellbeing of all employees to improve their mental health. “Our staff talks have been particularly powerful,” says Joanna. “They are a good way of showing that it is ok to talk about suffering from depression or anxiety. It helps to open discussions and create an environment where people feel able to ask for help.”

Scitech’s Mental Health First Aiders and Wellbeing Programme are designed to cultivate a workplace where every team member can thrive, both personally and professionally. “By prioritizing mental health, providing support, and fostering open dialogue, we are not only building a happy and healthy team but also creating a culture of care and compassion,” says Joanna. “Together, we are shaping an environment where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered to reach their fullest potential!”

Insights into the role of an architect

Sixth-form student Harry shares his insights following a week of work experience at Scitech.

Hi, I’m Harry, a Year 12 student currently studying A-levels in Geography, Art and Maths with aspirations of a potential career in architecture in the future. Thanks to a work experience programme arranged by my school and Scitech, I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the Scitech office. I had the opportunity to work amongst many professionals and the chance to learn and develop from their advice and input.

What did I do?

My experience was mainly focused on architecture; however, I had an introduction to many different sectors and disciplines, including project management, electrical engineering, and process engineering. I had meetings with a specialist in each area where they gave an insight into their role and responsibilities. These were always very interesting and gave me an insight into the roles that work alongside architects.

As I mentioned before, the bulk of my week was focused on architecture, and this consisted mainly of two parts. First, I was introduced to the architecture sector through a meeting and presentation given by one of the architects at Scitech. This was then followed by my assigned project, which I worked on through most of the week between my meetings with the other disciplines.

My project work

My project helped me to learn and develop many skills. I was assigned a brief created by one of the Scitech architects, with a fictional client and an area of land to model my project on. I had to research and design a production facility for a company by the name of “Happy Pharmaceuticals” for producing OSD (oral solid dose) tablets. I was also given a more detailed day-by-day checklist which helped me to manage my time on the most important things and helped as a starting point for my research.

I started by researching the location of the land and local restrictions on the construction. I then researched the hygiene standards for the process and the production process, including necessary machines, materials and more. Once most of the research had been done, I then progressed to creating designs for the building, starting with rough hand-drawn sketches before moving on to digital floorplans and diagrams showing the flow of materials and people, which can be seen below:

Diagram showing the floor plan of a fictional production facility designed by a work experience student. The diagram shows the room layout with each room labelled plus diagrams of flow diagrams of people and products.

I enjoyed working on my project and was fascinated by my research into the requirements and standards in the production process for pharmaceutical products. I loved being able to transfer my ideas from my head onto the paper and into my designs and then receive constructive and helpful feedback from several architects who assisted me throughout my project. I also received input from several different disciplines throughout the office and developed my ideas with their advice and guidance in mind, which benefitted my project and design greatly.

Presenting my work

At the end of the week, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to present my project. I was very intimidated to find out that I would be giving my presentation in front of many people including the Managing Director of the company, however, I was excited as I was confident in my work and wanted to share it with those who attended.

The presentation for me was the most challenging but the most rewarding, part of my whole experience as I had little experience in presenting and was nervous. Despite this, I think I did a good job, and I was very relieved by all the positive feedback I received. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to practice my presentation skills in the safe environment provided by Scitech and all who attended. I feel I have left my week there not only with new knowledge and skills but also a new confidence in myself.

Conclusion

My week at Scitech provided numerous valuable insights and experiences, including:

• An insight into the office environment and the cooperation between different sectors and disciplines all working together collectively.
• I was given an important preview of an architectural career and the structure of their tasks, roles and duties, which have been incredibly interesting and crucial for an aspiring architect like myself.
• A beneficial opportunity to develop my speaking and presentation skills which are so important for many forms of employment and education I may choose to pursue in the future.
• A crucial chance to develop time-management and organisational skills. This included project work time, my regularly scheduled discipline insight meetings, as well as the practice of understanding and delivering on a brief within a deadline, which is an incredibly important skill.

I am so grateful to everyone at Scitech for this opportunity, from everyone who helped to organise my visit or shared their knowledge with me. Everyone made me feel welcome in the office and made my visit enjoyable. This experience has exceeded all my expectations and is something I will take with me into the future.

Giving modern-day slavery in the construction industry the red card

The serious message underpinning the Construction Cup ‘24 corporate 5-a-side football tournament.

May 23rd will see 20 teams from within the construction industry take to the pitch at Selhurst Park for a day of football, camaraderie and networking. But underlining the fun is a very serious message. The day’s event will shine a spotlight on the shocking truth that slavery and exploitation still exist within the UK construction industry.

Influencing positive change through sport

The Construction Cup ’24 is partnering with Unseen to harness the power of sport to influence positive change and support Unseen and their work towards a world without modern slavery. We believe that football has an unparalleled power to draw important and uncomfortable issues to the forefront of society. This is proven by the successes of high-profile campaigns, such as the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ and ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign.

Dave Grant, Managing Director of Scitech, says: “Our engagement with the Construction Cup ’24 has inspired us to bolster the anti-slavery sections within our supply chain prequalification and monitoring arrangements. This isn’t merely about compliance; it’s about taking a stand, ensuring our practices reflect our ethos, and leading by example in our industry.”

Modern slavery in construction

According to figures from Unseen’s Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline in 2023, slavery and exploitation continued to rise among the 2 million people working in construction in the UK. The Unseen Helpline Annual Assessment in 2022 identified construction as the second most reported industry for cases of labour exploitation. In total, the sector saw 141 cases reported in 2022 (a 35% increase compared with 2021) and 543 potential victims identified.

Unseen’s mission is a world without slavery. We hope you will help us to transform the construction industry’s response and that one day we can all be proud to work in an industry free from such abuse and exploitation. Through community outreach services and safehouses, Unseen works alongside survivors of modern slavery to help them rebuild their lives and also runs the UK’s Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline. The charity works with businesses, governments, frontline workers and the public to raise awareness of modern slavery and tackle the issue in every sphere of society.

Confidence to speak out

“It is great that Unseen will be providing education for construction workers on how to spot the signs of modern slavery before the tournament. I’m sure everyone who plays at the Construction Cup ’24 will have been to a site at some point in their career and seen possible signs of modern slavery. To then feel confident enough in your instinct to speak out is no small feat. Education is possibly the best tool we have to give construction workers the confidence to speak out,” says Chris Hayward, Mechanical Engineer at Scitech and organiser of the Construction Cup.

Unseen hopes that one day their work will no longer be needed and that together we can stamp out slavery for good, not only in the construction industry but across the UK. The Construction Cup ’24 Team has a vision that, following the tournament, companies across the construction industry will consider the possibility that modern-day slavery could be present in their workforces or supply chains, and make meaningful policy changes to eradicate this from their future.

To find out more email: [email protected]

Exploring the world of radiopharmaceuticals

Hi, my name is Ollie, and I am currently in my first year of sixth form studying maths, physics and product design a-levels, and would like to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. Recently, I completed a one-week work experience placement at Scitech. For me, this fantastic experience not only helped develop my knowledge in specific areas (e.g. radiopharmaceuticals and radiation) to assist me in my current studies, but also provided an insight into future career options and the workplace.

Meeting the team

Upon arrival, I was greeted by HR Advisor Joanna Finch. I was shown around the office and introduced to many smiling faces, including heads of departments, and managing director Dave Grant. For the week, I was assigned to the Mechanical Engineering Department, working closely with Senior Mechanical Engineer Malcolm Hart. Throughout the week, I completed a project on radiopharmaceuticals and radioisotopes which I presented to several people at the end of the week. I collected information from various sources including past projects of Scitech, allowing me to meet and engage with people from various backgrounds, with specific skill sets and experience.

In addition to the project work, I was given the opportunity to meet members of the various departments, such as architects, process engineers and mechanical engineers. During these introductions I was able to ask questions and develop my knowledge in areas I had not explored prior to the week. These introductions were an amazing part of my work experience and the most useful to aid me in the future.

Virtual tour of radiopharma project site

One of the most memorable moments was a video call with Mechanical Engineering Team Leader Lewis White. As Lewis was working on a project on site in Europe at the time of my placement, I was unable to meet with him, so I was introduced over video call. During this call I was given a virtual tour around the facility, filled with hot cells (containment boxes for radioactive material) and various equipment. This was one of my favourite parts, as I was able to see the equipment I had been researching for the past few days and meet a team of people producing it 1000km away.

It was an interesting and very enjoyable week. Going into the week I was hoping to gain knowledge on mechanical engineering and the workplace. Reflecting on my week, this placement provided me with everything I had hoped for and more. Not only did it meet my expectations but additionally aided me in my current studies, as well as provided information about other disciplines.

Thank you to Scitech for this work experience opportunity, and to everyone involved who accommodated me for the week and provided support and advice to allow me to make the most out of my placement.

Spotlight on Emma Dawas, HR Director

In the six years since HR Director Emma Dawas joined Scitech, she has made it her mission to enhance the workplace culture to attract and retain exceptional talent. Her steadfast belief is that a thriving company requires a positive and inclusive work environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and employee well-being. Here Emma sheds light on how Scitech collectively prioritises these aspects and the initiatives that are contributing to success.

Emma is clear in her belief that HR is not responsible for a company’s culture, yet it has been her team’s mission to ensure that Scitech is a supportive and positive workplace. In pursuit of this vision, Emma has overseen several new initiatives designed to help colleagues across the organisation, from introducing a support and networking group for women to EDI plans, well-being initiatives, and an in-house graduate programme to develop the talent of junior team members.

The importance of listening

Yet Emma is keen to point out that, while HR instigated and developed many of the initiatives, they very quickly became owned and run by employee groups. “Our role as an HR department requires listening to our colleagues and responding to their needs,” Emma explains. “We have formal mechanisms for internal feedback and to gather ideas, such as our staff survey and through our employee forums. But many of our ideas also come from just listening, the water cooler moments where someone makes a comment and sparks an idea.

“For example, our Women at Scitech group was created during the Covid-19 pandemic we realised that a new female employee could potentially feel isolated working on her own from home in a male-dominated team. We set up virtual calls to bring our female colleagues together from across our offices to provide mutual support during what was a difficult time for everyone.”

The Women in Scitech Group collectively decide the focus and what issues they would like to tackle. Topics are varied and include women’s health, menopause, attracting women to engineering and construction careers, improving working life for women, unconscious bias in the workplace and gender bias in recruitment.

Emma adds: “Together, the Women at Scitech group has also tackled subjects such as how we ensure its female staff have access to women’s toilets on its construction sites and making sure there is appropriate PPE and workwear clothing for women rather than smaller versions of men’s clothing, which never really fit correctly.”

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace

When considering new ideas, Emma explains that she isn’t just introducing initiatives to please her colleagues. She must carefully weigh the strategic implications. “Ultimately, we’re running a business, and any changes we introduce have to align with our commercial objectives.

“So, the work we are doing on equality, diversity, and inclusion is clearly driven by a desire to do the right thing, but it’s not just that. We know it will make our organization a more diverse and inclusive workplace. It creates a better culture, and it is a positive culture that drives high performance.”

Emma and her team are aware that younger generations hold a greater desire for flexible and remote work arrangements, they demand a higher quality of life with a solid work-life balance and priority on mental health, and they want to work for a company that shares similar values regarding ethics, social causes and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Emma says: “Companies won’t survive if they can’t attract younger staff, so we know this is something we have to get right. We are working hard to ensure that we remain attractive to graduates and that, once they join, we offer a clear career progression path.”

In-house graduate training

Scitech has recently launched its in-house graduate training programme, Xcellerate, which is aimed at recent graduates and trainees from all areas of the company. It provides a comprehensive programme designed to equip participants with the necessary personal, technical, and behavioural skills to tackle the industry’s biggest challenges.

“We also make sure that every employee at Scitech has their own personal development plan that is designed to help them progress on their chosen career path. This could include supporting colleagues to achieve Chartership or an appropriate professional qualification.”

Emma has recently completed her Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring qualification, however, she is aware that not everyone wants to continue to study.

“We know that not everyone wants to strive for promotion,” she explains. “So we also include other ways for staff to achieve personal growth and development so that when they come to work, they feel fulfilled.”

Supporting the health and wellbeing of employees

Some of the opportunities available at Scitech include getting involved with various forums or developing new initiatives. For example, the well-being forum has been behind many of the initiatives designed to support the health and well-being of Scitech employees. “Through the well-being forum, we have introduced mental-health first-aiders who can signpost support to those in need. It’s becoming less of an issue now, but part of this initiative is to challenge the stigma around mental health and to make it clear that if someone is struggling for whatever reason, then we will help them – that it’s ok to not be ok and we will support them in whatever way appropriate.”

Summing up her approach, Emma says: “The key to the success of these groups lies in collaboration, joint accountability, and collective responsibility. Relying on one person or a specific team to drive initiatives hinders innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. This is embedded in our roots as an Employee-Owned organisation. We all have a stake in Scitech’s success and so we are all in it together. Collectively, we can ensure we succeed.”

To learn more about Scitech browse our web pages.