Operations Technician (Plant Genetics)

Posted 01 June 2023
Salary Negotiable
Job type Temporary
DisciplineLife Science Recruitment
Contact NameJordan Robb

Job description

Orion Group Life Sciences are currently recruiting an Operations Technician on behalf of our Multinational Agrichemical Client based in Cambridgeshire on an initial 12-Month contract with potential for extension.

Role Purpose:

  • To support the Nursery and Purity team in the delivery of, field and seed processing operations for Syngenta's cereals breeding programmes
  • To support goals for efficiency, timeliness and quality in all operations
  • To undertake a wide range of tasks in scope of the operations team from growing plants in glasshouses, crossing, seed preparation for nurseries and trials, field recording and harvesting
  • To develop experience & knowledge of the basic skills and processes required in a breeding program


Seed Processing

  • Threshing, cleaning, counting, weighing, treating, casetting and racking of seed for nurseries and trials
  • Routine use of Syngenta's MINT track & trace system for all seed movements
  • Preparation and dispatch of seed shipments to Syngenta and external recipients


  • Sowing, potting, irrigating and spraying plants as required by the Cereals breeding programmes

Field Activity

  • Sowing, labelling, preparation of field books, in-season scoring for a variety of attributes, tissue sampling, crossing and harvesting
  • Learn selection criteria and become proficient in scoring and phenotypic checks in the nurseries, isolations and PLP
  • To assist in the maintenance of Parental lines and seeds stocks

Warehouse supervisor

  • Ensure boxes of material are dried and conditioned to stakeholders requirements.
  • Ensure boxes of material are tracked and logged in the warehouse. Ensure material can be easily identified and located as and when required.
  • Make boxes of material readily available for colleagues as and when required.
  • Ensure good housekeeping and monitoring of site resources.


  • To be proficient in the use of breeding related software including SPIRIT, EZCapture, Steno and MINT, used in the planning and management of the breeding programmes.
  • To perform all tasks and behaving in a manner compliant with and in support of all health and safety related company policies and practices, including completing all required company training courses.
  • Where appropriate, oversee seasonal temporary labour and students working within the Nurseries area to maintain the same high standards of Health and Safety
  • To communicate effectively and liaise on a regular basis with the team and manager on the status of activities
  • To assist with Syngenta's involvement in external projects by liaising with other organisations to produce high quality experiments, data and seed


Critical knowledge

· A basic understanding of plant genetics or breeding systems is desirable

· HND or BTEC in Agricultural or Biological science or relevant industry experience is advantageous

Critical experience

· Experience of working within a small team.

· Experience of working in a plant breeding environment is desirable.

· Experience of working with tight and changing deadlines.

Critical technical, professional and personal capabilities

· Reliable, with attention to detail, accuracy and confidentiality

· Flexible approach - the role will require variable working hours (including weekend/evening work during critical business periods)

· Enthusiasm for and an interest in the Cereals breeding industry

· Willingness to learn and receive appropriate direction and training to complete the necessary tasks.

· Ability to use MS Office, especially Outlook, Access and Excel, and other standard software.

· Demonstrate ability to apply theoretical knowledge to achieve practical outcomes

Our role in supporting diversity and inclusion
As an international workforce business, we are committed to sourcing personnel that reflects the diversity and values of our client base but also that of Orion Group. We welcome the wide range of experiences and viewpoints that potential workers bring to our business and our clients, including those based on nationality, gender, culture, educational and professional backgrounds, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and age differences, job classification and religion. In our inclusive workplace, regardless of your employment status as staff or contract, everyone is assured the right of equitable, fair and respectful treatment.