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Employer case study: Weldricks

Babir Malik is a highly experienced and skilled community pharmacist at Weldricks Pharmacy, working three days a week at Weldricks and two days a week as a Teacher Practitioner at the University of Bradford, teaching our undergraduate Pharmacy students. 

Weldricks is a multi-branch, family-owned pharmacy based in South Yorkshire, with 59 pharmacies, over 600 trained staff, and over 8,000 health and beauty products and prescription medicines. As a business, its core commitment is to provide exceptional healthcare services to its local and online communities.

Babir talks about his dual role as pharmacist and teacher, and why nurturing young talent is so important at Weldricks.

“I studied at the University of Bradford”

"I was a student at Bradford myself. I studied Biomedical Sciences here for three years and Pharmacy for four years. It’s been a privilege to return as a Teacher Practitioner as part of my role at Weldricks – it means students are taught by someone who is currently employed as a pharmacist, so they benefit from the latest industry best practice guidance and advice.

"In my role at Weldricks, I work one day a week as a practising pharmacist, and two days at head office, training up new pharmacists."

“Weldricks’ relationship with the University is long established”

"The relationship with Bradford started long before I joined the business. Weldricks has been hiring students from the University of Bradford for over two decades, because as a business we’ve always prioritised nurturing the best young talent of the pharmacy industry. I came into contact with Weldricks when I was studying and we always had teacher practitioners from the business teaching us.

"My role as Teacher Practitioner means I get involved in teaching, planning sessions, assessments, and writing exams, but my focus is very much to align what we teach with the latest industry requirements. Our students do a lot of reflections, which are more complex than when I was learning. We also do a lot of team-based and interactive learning, rather than just lectures."

Babir Malik and graduate Gretel Billie at Weldricks pharmacy

Babir Malik with University of Bradford graduate, and trainee Weldricks pharmacist, Gretel Billie 

“We offer student placements at Weldricks”

"We offer paid six-to-eight-week placements for undergraduate pharmacy students from across the country, and they are open to year one, two and three students. Bradford students always stand out.

"After the four-year degree, every pharmacy student has to do a foundation year where they work under the supervision of a pharmacist. Essentially, they work as a pharmacy assistant or dispenser, working with customers and getting stuck into our everyday business. Bradford students who’ve joined us on their foundation training have demonstrated fantastic capabilities, often joining us as fully qualified pharmacists after they’ve completed their degrees. We’ve got lots of ex-Bradford pharmacists here now, working full time.

"My own journey with Weldricks started with a placement in 2005/6. I liked the fact that it wasn’t a huge company and that it was owned by a family. Everyone at head office knew who I was, and I loved the atmosphere."

“Bradford students stand out”

"I think the course at Bradford really excels in teaching great teamworking skills, and we notice that when students come on placements. Students show empathy and good communication skills, and an ability to really engage with our customers. They are also ambitious and eager to progress to working in our busier branches.

"My advice would be to get longer summer placements, and really practise speaking to patients. You can read about a drug in a textbook, but having a conversation with someone about that medication is the best way to learn. Some students are scared to talk to customers at first, but the more practice they get it becomes more natural.

"I get a real sense of pride when students from Bradford secure placements and employment with us after graduation. I’d urge students to apply via the online application on the Weldricks website, or through me. Make sure you introduce yourself! I didn’t talk to academics enough when I was at uni, don’t be scared to approach us."

A Pharmacy student on placement with Weldricks