Explore: Food production

Research Assistant
Humber VHB

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Tom S

0:00:02 My name’s Tom S. I work at Humber VHB as a Research Assistant. There’s, there’s a lot of things like, waterborne, airborne sort of diseases which need to be sort of got rid of really, and, and there’s a lot of trials looking into the improvement of, of the crop. Maybe growing them in a, a different, different way or using sort of different feeds and techniques to, to grown them, to, you know, get a better product out of it.

00:00:30 Someone might, might be buying this, maybe Tesco or something, I don’t know, one of these companies and they’ll say, you know, it’s, it’s not sort of strong enough. It hasn’t got the right flavour. So, there’s all these sort of things which we’ll, we’ll look into and, you know, with these experiments and try to improve. I’ve never had any idea what I wanna do in life and pretty much still don’t. It’s an ongoing project not knowing what to do. I suppose, I don’t know, it’s never really bothered me. I just kind of get on with things day to day and things will turn out how they turn out really.

00:01:05 So, I just kinda try and enjoy it. I finished college and decided not to go to university and I’ve, and just started looking for jobs really. And I’ve, I’ve had a couple of jobs prior to this. Worked in a supermarket, a hardware shop and, and then when I saw an ad in the, in the paper for this, this job and I thought I’d give it a go really. So, that’s what I did.

00:01:35 I think I could be described as quite a lazy student. Probably preoccupied with other things. Sort of, you know, having fun really. I, I do enough to get by usually. So, you know, there was never a great enthusiasm to, to do sort of school and college work to the greatest of my ability I don’t suppose. I was probably, I probably just wanted to be doing other things. Well, I didn’t go to university I suppose, I suppose because, ’cause I’d had enough of education pretty much and, I don’t know, it always seems expensive and, you know, maybe that was a wrong choice. Maybe it was the right one. I really don’t know.

00:02:19 I’ve never had people on my case getting me to, forcing me to do things particularly. They’ve always encouraged me to, to do things how I want to. That goes for my parents, they always encouraged me to, to, to do what I want to do. Otherwise, just, I’ve been quite independent I suppose. I’ve just kind of drifted where, you know, I’ve ended up where I’ve, I’ve ended up.

00:02:44 I’ve got a lot of interest in music and sport. I play cricket and football. I’ve always been really into, to music, listen to blues and folk and rock and roll, that sort of stuff. And I started playing guitar a few years back. So, now, I, I just go around here and there and play a few songs. You know, I’ve got my harmonica and guitar and, yeah, it’s good fun. Good fun. They clap occasionally too.

00:03:14 I think the main thing is just to enjoy where you work and, and who, well, who you work with I suppose. I’ve, I’ve had rubbish jobs in the past but I’ve worked with people I like and it’s, it’s fun. I may not be the most well paid so I suppose in the future money’s gonna become more of a, a driving factor in, in where I go and what I do. Right now I can, I’m 22, I can, it doesn’t matter to me really.

00:03:48 I don’t really plan past next week to be perfectly honest. Talking of this job, I enjoy it now and I, I, I guess there is, I wouldn’t say I’m in a career right now, I call it a job. It may develop into a career. Who knows, I quite enjoy it. It, it, it might happen. But, you know, maybe I’ll get fed up and go a different direction. That’s just how I do things I think really.


Tom S works at Humber VHB as a Research Assistant. He does experiments to find better crops. “I’ve never had any idea what I wanna do in life and pretty much still don’t. I’ve had rubbish jobs in the past but I’ve worked with people I like and it’s fun. I’ve got a lot of interest in music and sport.”

More information about Chemical scientists

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

78%  male 
22%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Chemical scientists analyse and research physical aspects of chemical structure and change within substances and develop chemical techniques used in the manufacture or modification of natural substances and processed products.
Entrants usually possess a degree. Entry may also be possible with an appropriate BTEC/SQA award, an Advanced GNVQ/GSVQ Level III, or other academic qualifications. Further specialist training is provided on the job. Some employers may expect entrants to gain professional qualifications.
  • Develops experimental procedures, instruments and recording and testing systems;
  • Conducts experiments to identify chemical composition, energy and chemical changes in natural substances and processed materials;
  • Analyses results and experimental data;
  • Tests techniques and processes for reliability under a variety of conditions;
  • Develops procedures for quality control of manufactured products.
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