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Precision Manufacturing Apprentice - Job Ref 116

Part of our mechanical engineering workshop, the Apprentice will be part of a team working in a state-of-the-art facility, to the highest levels of manufacturing precision. Projects will range from developing pulsed power machines, to complex target development & design.

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 Yarnton, Kidlington OX5 1QU
Training location OAS, Culham Science Park
Working week 36-40 hours
Wage Competitive
Expected duration 48 months
Start date 25 September 2023

The role requires a creative approach in design and manufacturing whilst using various types of tools and materials. The Apprentice will develop key competencies such as machining, metrology and assembly of components for a range of experiments and they will be equipped with the key knowledge required to embark on an academic course in mechanical engineering and achieve a Level 3 technical qualification. This is an advanced apprenticeship and will allow progression onto higher level engineering qualifications such as HNC and HND.

Responsibilities and training will include:

• Production and assembly of high precision components that meet tight specifications.
• Safe operation of manual machine tools.
• Setting and operating CNC machines and programming them on and offline.
• Planning the most efficient order of machine operations for each job.
• Operating and measuring components on a multi sensor CMM.
• Routine maintenance, H&S, COSHH and risk prevention procedures.
• Complete a full Level 3 Technical training programme.


• Must be over the age of 16 at the start of the apprenticeship.
• 5 GCSEs grades 9-4 / A*- C including Maths and English.

• Motivation and enthusiasm to work in a vibrant team environment.
• A good problem solver who enjoys the challenge of engineering.
• Methodical approach to working and learning new practical skills.
• The ability to work reliably and safely at all times.


• An understanding of Inspection and various types of equipment.
• A knowledge of machining techniques such as milling and turning


• Very competitive salary
• Free lunch, snacks and drinks
• An inclusive and friendly working environment
• On-site gaming area with table tennis, table football, board games, etc
• On-site exercising areas and showers

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

We are a small company with a huge mission. The only important aspect for the team, and for each individual, is the contribution they can make. Our selection process and requirements for career progression disregard gender, gender identity, race, disability, colour, religion, and all other aspects of diversity that make us all humans. Diverse teams have been proven to be better and we strongly believe it. We’re not perfect but we strive to be.

The interview process

We typically carry out one sixty minutes interview. The interview will aim to understand how your skills and knowledge match what is required for the internship.
We don’t have a dress code at First Light and regardless of seniority there is a good mix of t-shirts, trainers, shirts and blazers. For your interview, please dress in whatever makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

About First Light Fusion

We are a lean, focused and agile company researching energy generation by inertial confinement fusion. We spun out from the University of Oxford in June 2011 and are based near Oxford. First Light continues to work closely with the academic community, both in the UK and internationally. The company is well-funded by both institutional investors and private individuals.
Inertial confinement fusion for energy generation is a well-established research field and is being pursued in many laboratories worldwide, perhaps most notably in the US at the National Ignition Facility. We are exploring a number of alternative research directions that harness the same fundamental physics, with the prime focus being power generation. Our work to-date has included theoretical analysis, detailed numerical simulation, and experimental validation. We have an increasingly clear vision of the pathway to a power plant.
We really believe fusion will be solved in the 2020s. If it’s solved by us, fantastic, if it’s solved by someone else, still great.