Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Graduates gain employment during 20-year business relationship

Steve Jones, (back ,second left) managing director Bee Robotics Ltd Caernarfon with Bangor University graduates L-R: Paula Noon, Shailaja Bakshi (front) and Llifon Jones Steve Jones, (back ,second left) managing director Bee Robotics Ltd Caernarfon with Bangor University graduates L-R: Paula Noon, Shailaja Bakshi (front) and Llifon Jones A biotechnology company and university are celebrating more than two decades of a partnership that has resulted in multiple employment opportunities for graduates.

Bee Robotics and Bangor University first started working together in 1998 and the relationship has proved vital for both organisations.

In addition to securing jobs with an innovative local employer, students have benefitted from work placements and feedback on their work and skills at meet the employer events.

For Bee Robotics, it has been able to bring in additional resources to help focus on new areas and activities to support growth.

The Caernarfon-based manufacturer has established a world-wide reputation as a leader in the field of advanced liquid handling robotic solutions for laboratory automation in the biotech industry.

And graduates from Bangor University are playing an important role in the business’ international success.

Steve Jones, managing director at Bee Robotics, said: “It has been fantastic to watch students come through our doors, learn on the job and come back a year or two later as employees.

“We usually have one placement per year as well as attend the university to meet students and help them with their projects which offers us a chance to look at their skills and knowledge and build connections.”

Llifon Jones joined the company in 2014 after completing a two-month paid placement during his masters in computer systems and has progressed up the career ladder from software developer to senior software architect.

He said: “Despite it being a small business, there are lots of development opportunities.

“You don’t have to move to a big city to find a placement to suit you; if you are proactive you can find ones right on your doorstep and there are lots of them in North Wales.”

Paula Noon, who studied product design at university and is now a quality engineer at Bee Robotics, said: “I was worried I wouldn’t find employment after my studies, but after attending the university’s Degree Design Show and showcasing my skills and prototypes to prospective employers, I landed a role with Bee.”

Not all students who gain employment have been on design and technology courses, highlighting the level of trust Bee has in the university’s alumni.

Shailaja Bakshi, an international student from India who is currently studying for a PhD in linguistics, said: “I joined Bee as a production administrator and have settled in really well due to having a common connection with many other employees here.”

Professor Paul Spencer, Pro Vice-chancellor at Bangor University with responsibility for employability and company engagement and partnerships, said: “It’s incredibly powerful to show employers and students that forming relationships through placements can lead to huge success.

“For our graduates to have so many opportunities to gain employment with a wide-range of international-leading companies like Bee Robotics right on their doorstep is incredible.

“We have a long-standing partnership with Bee and it is a perfect example of the benefits of employers and Bangor University forging strong connections.”

Publication date: 15 September 2020