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Former York College apprentice Joe Turton has been presented with a national award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Joe was named Chemical Sciences Apprentice of the Year 2014 in recognition of his excellent work on the Laboratory and Science Advanced Apprenticeship pathway, working with the Food Environment Research Agency (FERA) at Sand Hutton.

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Photograph credit:  © MPP/RSC

Aged 16 Joe was one of the first group of apprentices employed by FERA and he has since secured a full-time position with the organisation. He says: "The best piece of advice I would give a young person starting their career, whatever that may be, would be to find something they are really passionate about - for me it was science. Then seriously consider it and do some research into whether an apprenticeship offers something for you. The most obvious path seemed to be to go to York College and study my apprenticeship - I haven't looked back since."

Joe is currently an assistant scientist in the Centre for Chemical Safety and Stewardship – the team responsible for investigating the effects of chemicals, particularly pesticides and veterinary medicines on the environment. Joe’s role is to help determine the effects these chemicals may have on organisms that live in water, such as algae and freshwater shrimp.

Joe attended the Royal Society of Chemistry awards ceremony in Manchester. He received a cash prize, additional funding towards his professional development and a medal.

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