North West Business Briefs: Lighthouse Laboratory; Liverpool FC; Inteb

Levenshulme High School students

For this month’s British Science Week scientists from Alderley Park’s Lighthouse Laboratory, which conducts PCR testing for COVID-19, have announced a partnership with Levenshulme High School, arranging a series of events for students at the all-girls school, which aim to break down misconceptions surrounding careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and gain wider gender representation.

The partnership will see the students attend a live-streamed talk with Dr Simone Haworth from the Medicines Discovery Catapult – the organisation which established Cheshire’s Alderley Park testing lab where more than 50,000 samples can be tested for COVID-19 daily. As training and development manager, Simone has more than 30 years of experience working in the life sciences sector, a role which has taken her around the world.

She said: “From working in Sudan during a civil war, to helping Britain in the grips of a devastating pandemic back at home, I’ve had various roles within my medical speciality which spanned over a dozen countries and three continents – not bad for a girl from Blackburn who wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when leaving school.”

For the students’ teacher, Mark Simpkins, head of science at Levenshulme High, the ambition for British Science Week is to overcome the misconceptions of diversity within the sciences. He said: “We’re really excited about the partnership with the team at Alderley Park. The site is a tangible example of science in action – applying scientific skills and expertise for the betterment of the nation.

“Our healthcare professionals have received a good deal of justified praise since the start of the pandemic, but I think the nation’s scientists are truly the unsung heroes of the COVID outbreak.

“It’ll be incredibly useful for the students to hear from Simone, to understand how a scientist with a similar background to them got to where she is now. Not just someone with an interesting and varied scientific career – but also one who is on the frontline of the pandemic delivering work with nationwide ramifications.”


Paul McGrady

Job security has been at the forefront of the pandemic’s impact on society, and a partnership has worked together to try to help those unfortunate enough to have lost their job to get back into the world of work.

Chocolate company Cadbury, a commercial partner of Liverpool FC, has partnered with the club’s Virtual Employability Programme that runs workshops on cv help, video interview techniques and navigating the online world when applying for jobs.

The programme was created to help local people in Liverpool during the first lockdown and has continued to help today with Lockdown 3.0. The scheme offers one-to-one support for people in need of assistance. It has helped people like Paul McGrady, who had been employed by the same company for more than 20 years and found himself redundant at the start of the pandemic. Tackling the issues alone, Paul was struggling to stand out of the rest of the crowd applying for jobs.

He said: “I had been employed for over 20 years, so hadn’t updated my job seeking skills. Now, with the internet and other tools that didn’t exist when I first started my career, I needed help on how to get back to work. It was through the programme that I built my confidence in talking about what I have to offer my future employer through role play zoom interviews and a total overhaul of my cv.”

Following participation in the programme, Paul found employment in July, and has since been promoted.


Astrazeneca’s Speke site

A specialist team from Birkenhead-based environmental experts Inteb has begun a collaboration with global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to work on its programme to achieve zero carbon emissions.

Over the coming year, Inteb, whose energy managers, surveyors, utility and environmental specialists operate nationally, will be focusing on supporting sustainability initiatives at the AstraZeneca site in Liverpool.

Inteb director, Tom Kelly, said: “As environmental specialists in supporting UK businesses to reduce carbon emissions, energy usage and costs, we at Inteb place great importance on our collaboration with AstraZeneca to support their vision of being a leader in environmental sustainability to protect our planet for future generations.”

Throughout the coming year, Inteb will be working with AstraZeneca at its Speke site to set minimum sustainability requirements for its local engineering and supplier needs and to ensure regulatory compliance on environmental training.

A new post has been created by Inteb – that of a site ‘champion’ – who will work on site to manage the company’s environmental target performance and work on global sustainability initiatives. For the whole of 2021, the progress of sustainability objectives at the Speke operation will be monitored by Inteb along with the creation of other environmental initiatives including monitoring utility invoices, a waste audit and working towards the achievement of ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 certification.