DE&S/SDA Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship at Defence Equipment & Support

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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.

About Defence Equipment & Support

DE&S is a first-class and inspiring organisation, offering unique experiences supporting the UK’s armed forces and delivering some of the world’s most complex projects.

We employ over 11,500 people, and with a budget of over £10 billion, we buy, support and supply vital equipment and services that the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force need to operate effectively.

How to apply

To apply for this role and to find out more, please click on the apply button.

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