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Students benefit from sponsorship scheme 4 September 2007

TWO local students are to benefit in the first year of a sponsorship scheme offered by pharmaceutical company Medis Ltd, it is announced today.

Nicholas Scarffe is a pharmacology student at Leeds Metropolitan University and Helen Kelly is a pharmacy student at the University of Sunderland.

They are the first students to be selected by Medis Ltd for its scheme to encourage potential new employees from on the Island. They were picked after applying and undergoing assessment at the company’s offices in Circular Road, Douglas.

In June, Medis Ltd announced it was to sponsor Isle of Man students heading off-Island to university to study pharmaceutical-related subjects to the tune of £5,000 a year. The company is offering the students assistance with their studies and extensive work experience and there is a possibility it may employ them after they graduate.

The sponsorship package includes:Mr Colligon with Nicholas and Helen

• £5,000 in financial support per annum during studies leading to a full degree.

• 10 weeks’ work experience in a pharmaceutical business during the summer holidays plus the possibility of paid work at Christmas and Easter.

• An excellent source of ideas and information for university project/thesis work.

• An element of ‘pastoral’ care both while the student is working with Medis and while away at university.

Nicholas, 19, of Onchan, said of being selected:

‘This is an amazing opportunity that will give me first-hand experience of the pharmaceutical industry. I am grateful to Medis Ltd for choosing me and I am looking forward to working with the Medis team.’

Helen, 20, of Onchan, commented:

‘I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in the Medis sponsorship scheme. The work experience I will gain will give me a good insight into industrial pharmacy and will provide advice on a future career path. The information I learn will also help me greatly in my studies and the money will certainly be useful at university.’

Medis Ltd Managing Director Stuart Colligon said he was pleased with the number and quality of applications in the scheme’s first year and hoped to build on that success next year. He said:

‘It is a significant and proud moment for the company to welcome the first students onto our sponsorship scheme. If we heighten awareness locally about the pharmaceutical industry by running this scheme each year, then it will have been a success. ‘Of course, in addition we have high hopes for the students themselves. I would be delighted if they choose to join company permanently at the end of their studies.
‘There was a high standard of applicant and this is a good reflection on the Island’s education system. This was despite the scheme being launched quite late in the academic year, when most A-level students had already chosen their courses. My expectation is that there will be an even bigger response to the scheme for next year’s intake.’

Mr Colligon added:

‘The sponsored students will work through a structured programme of inductions and projects. The aim of the scheme, from a technical point of view, is to educate the students in the finer workings of the pharmaceutical industry and to expose them to the commercial world. I am certain that the added experience our scheme provides will benefit the students substantially in their studies and in their early careers.’

He went on:

‘We will be taking to the road during the coming academic year to talk with A-level students in the Island’s high schools as preparation for the next phase of the sponsorship scheme. I am looking forward to meeting the potential candidates of the future.’

Education Minister Anne Craine MHK wished Nicholas and Helen well with their studies and said:

‘We can be proud that we have students of such caliber that they have been selected to benefit from the generous sponsorship scheme offered by Medis Ltd. I am sure Nicholas and Helen appreciate the opportunity that they have been given, not just in terms of financial sponsorship but also the chance to have work experience in the pharmaceutical industry, which will give them an advantage in their future careers. I wish Nicholas and Helen every success in their studies and look forward to hearing of other students coming forward for this scheme in the academic year ahead.’

The Minister concluded:

‘We are very grateful to Medis Ltd, which has chosen this route of student sponsorship to promote future employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. It is a scheme that I believe will go from strength to strength.’

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