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Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprentice - 2908

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has over 25 years’ experience in providing engineering apprenticeships and provides an excellent training ground to equip individuals with the relevant skills and experience for their chosen career in either mechanical, electrical or electronic engineering. As well as departmental roles, we are also looking to recruit Level 3 Engineering Technician Product Design and Development Apprentices to join us in September 2023 at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on our rotational engineering programme. The successful candidates will follow either a mechanical, electrical or electronic biased programme undertaking 4-month placements in our ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, RAL Space, Central Laser Facility and Technology departments. 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 £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

As a rotating engineering apprentice your main duties/responsibilities 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 each placement
Work safely and in line with established safety measures in the laboratory on a day-to-day basis
Follow procedures and risk assessments with supervision.
As an STFC Apprentice you will communicate with 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
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 as well as undertaking on-the-job training via placements on a rotational basis in your chosen discipline, either mechanical, electrical or electronic.
Year 2: Based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory with block training at OAS – continuing four-month departmental placements
Year 3-4: Will be fully in the workplace where you will further hone your skills to become an Engineering 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.

Throughout your apprenticeship you will be expected to support scientists from all over the world as they continue to push back the barriers of science.

As a mechanical apprentice you will use novel and technology-enabled processes to contribute to the manufacture of mechanical parts and assemblies. This supports a broad range of engineering requirements on both large and small precise sizes using Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) and conventional machining techniques. One of your first placements will be in our manual machining workshops, either in CLF, ISIS or the Technology Department. During these manual machining placements you will build on your skills developed in your first year at OAS. As you progress your work placements will evolve into a more diverse range, these could include; CNC Machining placements in RAL Space or ISIS, Technician placements specialising in vacuum, gasses, cryogenics, and hand fitting in CLF, ISIS, RAL Space or Technology, or Design placements in CLF or ISIS.

As an electrical apprentice your placements will give you skills in installing cabling, including single and 3-phase mains, large, high voltage conductor cables, 24V controls and soldering delicate components under a microscope. You will also learn about electrical containment, including trunking and conduit for a range of installation including motors, control and network circuits, as well as electrical testing, fault finding and maintenance required for the incredible scientific equipment used across the site. Opportunities are available across the site to be involved in the electrical design process using CAD software; as well as learning about Automation and Controls, producing PLC/HMI software and commissioning these systems for various applications.

As an electronic apprentice you will have the opportunity to learn about innovative state of the art high speed electronics, from single integrated circuits to huge data acquisition systems. When fully assembled these systems are used in scientific research all over the world. You will build on the core skills learnt during your first year, these include soldering, crimping, prototype board assembly, using multimeters, oscilloscopes and various other test equipment. As you progress in your apprenticeship you will move on to fault finding, analysing, designing and building electrical and electronic circuits. You will work on a large number of component technologies, ranging from high voltage electrical circuits running at thousands of volts to printed circuit boards containing components smaller than a grain of rice.

We are looking for self-motivated, hard-working and enthusiastic individuals who demonstrate an interest in engineering.

When submitting your CV and covering letter you should address yourself to this person specification, demonstrating by example how you meet the criteria contained within. Please also include any other information, which you feel is of relevance to your application.

Please state in your covering letter if you wish to be considered for more than one engineering discipline.

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)
Interest in engineering and the ability to demonstrate a basic level of knowledge and skill
Good problem solving skills
Ability to work independently and as part of a small team.
Good communication skills
Self-motivated; willing to undertake the work required with the training provider and in the workplace
Ability to work using own initiative


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