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Advanced Mechanical Apprenticeship - 2913

The Technology Department’s Cryogenics & Magnetics Group (CMG) provides world leading engineering solutions in applications aimed at both space and ground-based astronomy as well as superconducting magnets in support of experiments in international particle accelerators and light sources. Due to several newly secured long-term projects, we have an exciting opportunity for a Level 3 Engineering Apprentice to join a small highly skilled technical team in September 2023. Note: Online applications only for this role using the employer's direct link at the bottom of this page.

We appreciate that everyone learns and thinks in different ways; therefore, if you would prefer to provide your information in a different format; for example, over the phone, or you need support in completing your application please contact

Vacancy location Harwell, Oxfordshire
Training location OAS, Culham
Working week Full Time hours
Wage Minimum Salary: £11,925 per annum rising to £18,402 in the fourth year
Expected duration 48 months
Closing date 26 March 2023
Start date 01 September 2023

You will be enrolled onto the Level 3 Engineering Technician Product Design and Development Pathway on a four-year apprenticeship where;

Year 1: Your first six months will be spent training at Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) at Culham, where you will be taught the basics of machining, welding, electronics and electrical wiring, The second six months will be spent in the workplace with one week in every four at OAS.
Year 2: Mainly in the workplace with block training at OAS – during this time you will develop your skills working mainly in the CMG Group, but you will also work within other groups within the department where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills further.
Year 3-4: Will be fully in the workplace where you will further hone your skills to become a Cryogenic and Magnetic Technician.

You will be required to attend OAS as required as part of your training; you must therefore be willing and able to travel independently. Excess travel costs will be covered.

Working closely with other groups within the Applied Science Division, you will be working in a multi-disciplinary engineering environment carrying out tasks which will include:

  • Complete a prescribed programme of training to be conducted within the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Work under the guidance and support of your team within the Technology Department
  • Work safely and in line with established safety measures in the laboratory on a day-to-day basis
  • Learning about vacuum and pressure systems
  • Learning about the safe use of cryogens and cryogenic and magnetic mechanisms
  • Learning the various skills needed to assemble complex mechanisms suitable for spaceflight
  • Working in a cleanroom environment
  • Basic manual and CNC machining
  • Gaining knowledge of various and often exotic engineering materials
  • Knowledge of working with extreme tolerances and to a high degree of accuracy
  • Gaining some design experience for tooling and laboratory based experimental set ups
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge of interpreting engineering drawings
  • Gaining knowledge and experience of the various processes associated with the assembly of cryogenic mechanisms such as soldering & vacuum brazing.
  • As an STFC Apprentice you will communicate to staff across STFC and at all levels. You will work as part of a team as well as working on your own. You will also represent STFC through the contact you have with your training provider
  • Attend appropriate additional training to support the role and service delivery

As a prerequisite of all the above, your training will give you a thorough understanding of safe systems of work and associated documentation and procedures.

Person specification (Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and any special requirements)

In order to apply for the role, we are looking for the following:


Achieved or predicted to achieve 5 GCSE passes at Grade C/4 or above including Maths, English and a STEM subject by September 2023 (or equivalent qualifications)
Good problem solving skills
Interest in engineering and the ability to demonstrate a basic level of knowledge and skill
Ability to work independently and as part of a small team.
Good communication skills
Ability to work using own initiative


IT literacy and working with Microsoft office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.