Manufacturing Operations & Quality (Vaccines)

Become part of the team that ensures that our vaccines are produced on time to the highest quality standards so we can distribute them worldwide to prevent serious diseases. Our vaccines portfolio includes meningitis, rotavirus, hepatitis and influenza vaccines, and covers vaccines for children, adolescents, adults, travellers and the elderly.

Vaccine manufacture is at the heart of GSK’s vaccines activity. It’s a high-tech, dynamic environment that evolves continuously and presents you with constant opportunities to learn.

We offer you the chance to pursue a career that combines science and technology. You’ll be able to grow and develop your technical and leadership skills thanks to a dedicated programme of leadership training, mentoring and work experience. This experience will provide you with a solid foundation for a variety of science careers within the pharmaceutical industry.

What’s this area all about?

Our merger with Novartis has strengthened our position as the world’s leading vaccine manufacturer. We currently manufacture, formulate, fill, pack, control, release and deliver vaccines safely, every day, to people in 90% of the world’s countries. In 2015 we distributed around 690 million doses of vaccine, with over 70% of them going to less developed, low and middle income countries.

Vaccine manufacture is a highly scientific area of the business that involves cutting-edge technology. It touches on three very different activities: manufacturing operations, quality and supply chain management.

The manufacturing process typically takes 15-18 months. Different challenges arise at every stage, so every working day is different. These challenges might include transporting delicate biological materials that need special handling, overseeing quality throughout the manufacturing process, or managing a complex supply chain to ensure that customers and patients receive vaccines precisely when they need them.

Future Leaders who join this area of the business will need to demonstrate a high degree of flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly to change.

What is this career path like?

2 years
3 rotations

By following this two-year career path you will gain a broad and insightful experience of the manufacturing side of GSK’s vaccines business. You will take three rotations within different departments, including one six-month rotation abroad.

The rotations will enable you to develop your expertise in manufacturing, quality and supply chain management, while broadening your global business perspective. You will start with a one-year rotation on the shop floor at the centre of our operations activities, either in Production or Quality Control. This will be followed by a six-month rotation in Quality or Production (depending on your first rotation) and a further six months in Supply Chain Management.

This graduate training scheme follows the 70:20:10 learning principle: 70% of your learning takes place on the job during your rotations, 20% comes from the support you receive from a senior leader who will be your mentor throughout the scheme, and the remaining 10% comprises formal leadership training sessions.

What will I learn?

You’ll improve your technical skills while gaining valuable leadership training in a dynamic area of the pharmaceutical industry.

You will discover how manufacturing, the quality function and the supply chain work together at GSK to deliver life-saving preventative medicines to patients worldwide.

You will see how biological materials are used to produce vaccines via techniques such as fermentation, purification, virus multiplication and formulation. You’ll work in a fast-moving environment at the cutting edge of technology, learning about bio reactors, chromatography, aseptic filling, automatic visual inspection and isolator technology.

By following our vaccines through the entire manufacturing process, you will understand how a complex supply chain functions, with a particular emphasis on the importance of maintaining quality and releasing products on time. You’ll also gain insights into the challenges of working in a highly regulated and controlled environment.

In addition, you’ll have access to senior GSK leaders and will be able to network with your peer group: a truly international community of talented people from diverse backgrounds. Graduates currently on this career path especially appreciate the development events that occur across the two years. Here, Future Leaders from different career paths come together for soft skills training, to interact with top leaders and to learn from each other. Our leadership training combines mentoring, classroom sessions and on-the-job learning to equip you to become a leader of the future.

You will gain a good understanding of all areas of GSK and GSK Vaccines, from R&D activities to the commercial organisation. In the long term, this will open up a variety of different science careers within GSK for you. 

Where can I work?

Our manufacturing network covers 17 sites worldwide. In 2017 the Manufacturing Operations & Quality (Vaccines) career path will be based in the countries listed below. During the two-year scheme, you’ll have the opportunity to do one rotation abroad. Your landing position will be in your home country.

What’s expected of me?

We’re looking for a number of key characteristics. We expect you to be exceptionally engaged and passionate about your subject, to have a keen interest in the healthcare industry, and to be fascinated by science and the large-scale manufacture of biological material.

This is a challenging training programme with a steep learning curve, so you must show a real willingness to acquire knowledge and embrace new experiences.

We’ll also need you to build good working relationships with a wide range of people at all levels, show strong people management skills, demonstrate excellent team skills and take up a variety of opportunities to develop your leadership capabilities. 

What do I need to succeed?

This career path attracts graduates from various technical, scientific and business disciplines, including pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, engineering, bio-engineering, business engineering, electro-mechanical engineering and maintenance engineering.

Depending on the country you apply to, you’ll hold a Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree. Whatever your degree, you’ll have a keen interest in production, quality and supply challenges.

You need to be fluent in English and in the home site language, and have a maximum of two years’ professional experience.  

You will need to be a resilient problem-solver who enjoys dealing with complexity and ambiguity and working towards long-term goals. As a future leader, you will also be keen to work with others and learn how to lead and motivate your team.