If you are looking for an apprenticeship, you won’t find anywhere quite like the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Diamond Light Source to begin your career. We work with incredibly advanced technologies and equipment on some of the most exciting research and engineering and computing projects around.
Our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Harwell, Oxfordshire) Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship is run jointly with Diamond Light Source. The 1st year of your apprenticeship is spent at Oxfordshire Advanced Skills at Culham, where you are taught a number of hand skills including machining, welding, electronics and electrical wiring. In years 2 to 4 you will remain at college on a part-time basis whilst receiving on the job training working within a range of workshop facilities at RAL and DLS.
At Daresbury Laboratory (Cheshire) our Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship will take 4 years to complete, with the first year spent at the North West Training Council, Bootle. You will then continue your apprenticeship at the laboratory, learning by being involved directly on exciting projects, as well as continuing your academic studies on day release.
Joining us is your chance to undertake an award winning four year advanced engineering apprenticeship that is recognised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Other opportunities include Heating & Ventilation and Carpentry apprenticeships. These vacancies will open for applications later in 2018.
We have roles based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in South Oxfordshire and at our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. Find out more about our laboratories on our locations page.
Computing Apprenticeship at RAL
Computing is essential to the science that STFC supports. We need keen individuals to support us in the development of new software and systems. We are recruiting Computing apprentices to work at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. You will be based in a group with computing professionals in one of STFC departments. During the apprenticeship scheme you will rotate between several departments gaining a range of experience. These placements will complement formal training and are developed to support you as you work towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions Degree
To apply please follow the link http://www.topcareer.jobs/Vacancy/irc245371_8311.aspx
Applications close on 22nd August 2018
Interview/assessment days during the weeks beginning 3rd and 17th September 2018
I joined the STFC apprenticeship scheme as I felt that I learned things more effectively with a hands-on approach. The apprenticeship scheme offered this as well as a very wide range of work experience which would kick-start my career in computing and help me choose which part of it I was best suited to and most enjoyed.
So far I have enjoyed all of the work that I have done for STFC as you can see it in effect after finishing it. Currently I am working on an Android app which shows users ISIS’ beam status on their phones and notifies them when callouts are needed. Another project I have finished is to make a webpage that parses web services with RAL’s news feed to screens around site. I have also enjoyed learning the different skills needed in each department I’ve been in.
Working for STFC is really great as you are involved in the various research experiments that take place at RAL. A lot of ground-breaking research has been made using the instruments at RAL and being a part of STFC means you can see it all happening.
As a computing apprentice there is a lot to learn including skills in several different programming languages such as Java, C# and Python. The course that is run alongside the apprenticeship teaches you about the parts of computing such as networking and real life applications as well as logical maths and database technologies. Besides the course I have learnt a lot at work and whilst doing so have contributed to ongoing projects at STFC.
The thing that has given me most pride is that my work is being used to help other people in STFC after I have finished it. This gives more of an incentive to do work as you can visibly see the difference that you’ve made. I also really like being a part of the apprenticeship group as I have made friends with the other apprentices doing other subjects and have learnt what they’re doing as well. Some projects that I have helped with have tied in with some of their projects too.
I decided to join the STFC apprenticeship scheme after I finished my a levels because I was interested in a career within engineering and from looking at the various schemes the STFC one appealed the most. This was because of the amazing opportunities that are available and the experience I would gain. Combined with my hobby of electronics I can work in a really interesting field whilst gaining recognised qualifications without the debt associated with University.
The thing I have enjoyed most so far is the varied work I have been involved with. Every job I have done so far has been different and I think this is what stands out the most because it never gets repetitive and every job is really interesting. Also I think being involved in work that makes a difference makes you feel valued and adds to the enjoyment.
Working for STFC has been really enjoyable so far, everyone on site is really friendly and approachable. Also everyone is willing and happy to help you, this is really nice when you start somewhere new and helps you settle in really quick. The working atmosphere is really positive and everyone works hard to complete their work to the highest standard, and if you are ever stuck with something there will always be someone willing to help you out. Working for STFC also has the added benefit of being really flexible especially with your working hours which can be really useful and is definitely a big positive.
I have been involved in public engagement work for example attending a careers fair at MINI plant Oxford and also with various open days on site. This forms part of working for STFC but I think it is important to help inspire the next generation of future engineers and I also feel that the work done here at RAL is not widely known. I also like to talk about my work as I am very proud of it and people I have spoken to at these events all seem to be amazed at what goes on here at RAL.
So far I have got the most pride from working on a project that is currently being used on ISIS. I was involved in a prototype stage for a temperature monitoring system that provides temperature data to the department I’m currently working for. This has given me a lot of pride because of the responsibility I was given to undertake this task, how successful it has been and how the department actually use my data to make decisions.
I joined the apprenticeship scheme as I had done work experience in RAL before so I knew about the site and what goes on, and I felt like with all the research into science that was going on that it was the perfect place for someone to showcase their potential.
Every day at work is different. One day you could be working with engineers designing a project, the next working along scientists to try work out a way of analysing some data. The variety and diversity of work is what makes every day so interesting and why I enjoy working at STFC.
The thing I like most is the range of work. As an apprentice you get to move around departments and see how projects go from start to finish. This is then installed in an instrument/experiment and you get to see it each time you go past. Working for STFC has given me a significant look into engineering and what it’s like to work in electronics across the vast spectrum.
Public engagement and open days are something that I think is very important for self-improvement. It’s a brilliant way to get you out of your shell and to improve your ability to talk in front of an audience and under pressure. I am thankful that I have taken part in a lot of open days and ran various different activities with public engagement, which I believe has played a huge part in my training.
In 2014 at our Annual Prize Giving event I was awarded the Recognition Award for my work in representing and promoting the apprenticeship scheme, through open days and public engagement. I took great pride in this as being recognised for hard work is always important.
During our 4 year apprentice we get the opportunity of learning up to a level 4 HNC in our relevant discipline. In our first year it is spent at college full time where we pick up our basic skills in all three disciplines (electronics, electrical and mechanical engineering) then from the 2-4th years we are working on site 4 days a week and at college 1 day a week, for the 2nd year finishing our Level 3 BTEC and then the 3rd and 4th years doing our HNC Level 4. Sometimes departments will go the extra mile and send you on some specific training courses as well, which is a fantastic opportunity to gain more key skills.
My highlight of the scheme was the unique opportunity to go to Grenoble in France. Whilst there I spent 3 weeks working at the ESRF which is a x-ray synchrotron much like Diamond Light Source. This experience was eye opening as it was a great way of seeing how the same experiments work in different countries, as well as seeing the way the departments operate in a different country.
You will need to have achieved or be expecting to achieve 5 GCSE passes at Grade C or grade 5 or above, in English, Maths and a Science or equivalent.
If you have any questions regarding the Apprentice Scheme, please contact either of the following:
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory