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DE&S/SDA Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship


Join an integral part of the UK's defence and play your part in the procurement and in-service support of all our armed forces’ equipment, fighter jets, submarines, armoured vehicles and aircraft carriers, clothing, food and ammunition.

If you’ve got the pride, passion and commitment to be part of an exciting organisation at the forefront of supporting our country's armed forces, and help to deliver on operations at home and abroad, apply online now.

Job description

Successful applicants undertake a comprehensive programme of study, associated with the Engineering Technician Standard, on a three year Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship.

Starting September 2021, the apprenticeship is based in Bristol, with year one full time at Bridgwater and Taunton College where you’ll study for your Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing. Free daily return coach transport is provided between MOD Abbey Wood to Bridgwater and Taunton College.

During years two and three, apprentices carry out four six month technical focused project team placements at Abbey Wood, with block release to attend Bridgwater and Taunton College to study a BTEC Level 4 HNC Engineering in Mechatronics. You’ll also complete a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering throughout work-based placements.

We’re currently recruiting up to 30 positions and the scheme is open to anyone over the age of 16 years at the start of the apprenticeship. Some placements may be away from Abbey Wood, Bristol.

Because of the classification of much of the work in the SDA, some posts may be open to Sole UK Nationals only.


You’ll participate in structured training and gather experience and knowledge through several work-based placements to learn and then apply engineering/scientific concepts and principles in a defence environment. You’ll be involved with the following:

•Participating in assigned educational training to develop own capabilities in a defence context.

•Delivering engineering products/services against agreed objectives to develop knowledge and experience and add value to the team and wider business.

•Building awareness and understanding of how the engineering function and wider business operates to assist in own development and career progression.

•Seeking opportunities to develop knowledge and experience to progress as an Apprentice to Engineering Technician in the time specified.

•Providing support to colleagues in their specialist area and actively contribute to team meetings to help with the work of the team.

•Building and maintaining a network of internal business contacts and peers to gain knowledge and identify opportunities to learn and develop.

What you will be assessed against
Your CV must demonstrate the following essential criteria:
• Candidates must have or be studying to attain a minimum of five full GCSEs A-C or grades 4-9 (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and a Science or Engineering related subject and two additional subjects.

It is also beneficial to your application if you can demonstrate the following desirable criteria:
• You’re working towards Engineering Technician status.
•Relevant work experience, demonstrating project skills, including through internships or placements.
•You’re a student member of a Professional Engineering / Science Institute or equivalent body.

We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
•Communicating and Influencing.
•Working Together.

Technical skills
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
•Technical requirements, evaluation and acceptance.

Candidates are asked to distinguish between an English Language or English Literature qualification awarded.

Applicants with predicted grades should check that when asked if they have the mandatory grades they tick YES, otherwise their application will automatically be rejected.

Please note this is a development scheme and candidates with higher level qualifications in Engineering may not be eligible. All vocational and academic qualifications held or in progress must be declared.

Your contracted hours will be 37 per week, although some additional study will be required in your own time to complete the academic part of the Apprenticeship.


Alongside training and development, you’ll receive the following great benefits:

• Flexible working arrangements so that your work fits in with your lifestyle.
• 25 days holiday a year, increasing one day a year to 30 days after five years.
• A competitive remuneration package and access to two Civil Service Pension options.
• Use of our on-site gym, restaurants and cafes.
• A huge variety of high street discounts and savings.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Stage 1: Initial application and CV upload.

For additional guidance on writing a CV for DE&S, please click here

Stage 2: Following an initial sift, candidates meeting the relevant minimum qualifications will be called for online numeracy and literacy tests.
Applicants that pass both tests will then be assessed against the following areas in a CV sift:

• Key Achievements.
• Relevant Experience.
• Applied Knowledge and Skills.

Stage 3: The top scoring candidates from the sift will be invited to an assessment day involving leadership, team working, engineering, mechanical and logical tests, as well as safe distance group practical problem solving challenges.

Stage 4: This is followed by a formal interview to discuss your Key Achievements, Relevant Experience and Applied knowledge & Skills. In addition to the above, you'll also be assessed against a technical competence and the listed behaviours, aligned to our DE&S Behaviours which can be found attached at the bottom of the page.

Following completion of all pre-employment checks candidates can expect to start employment in September 2021.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :Name :
Rich Steiner - Entry Talent Recruitment ManagerEmail :
Recruitment team :Email :

Further information

Applicants should monitor their Civil Service Jobs application centre regularly for updates.

Some of MoD’s Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) changed from 3 February 2014. Those TACOS changes applied to Broader Banded and Skill Zone staff who were new recruits to MoD or who were appointed to a post on substantive promotion, progression or advancement. On the same basis, the TACOS for Departmental Retained Grades changed with effect from 01 September 2014.

All employees joining MOD who are new to the Civil Service will be subject to a 6-month probation period (unless otherwise advised) effective from the employment start date.

Following the introduction of the new Government scheme Tax Free Childcare, the Childcare Voucher scheme has now closed to new entrants. Applicants should be aware that any move across the Civil Service on or after 5 October 2018 may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You can find out more about Tax Free Childcare at


Please be aware that the selection and interviewing of applicants is the responsibility of the Recruiting Line Manager (RLM) and not the Defence Business Services (DBS) Resourcing team. DBS do not play any part in the selection and interview process.

Therefore if you are dissatisfied in any way with the selection process, you should raise a complaint in accordance with the guidance set out in the further information guidance document attached.

Cabinet Office Fraud Checks

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant whose details are found to be held on the IFD will be refused employment

DE&S/SDA Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship

Bristol, UK
Advanced Apprenticeship
££15,000 - £20,000

Published on 18 Dec 2020

Deadline 14 Feb 2021