Babcock profile

Engineering Trades Apprenticeship (Plymouth)

by Babcock


Job Details

29th February 2024
Level 3 Apprenticeship

Engineering Trades Apprenticeship (Plymouth)

Level: 3


Year 1: £13,319.00

Year 2: £17,455.00

Year 3: £23,084.00

Year 4: £27,621.00

Post apprenticeship: £30,376

Location: Devonport, Plymouth 

Application closing date: March 2024 

Programme start date: September 2024 

Ready to learn a skilled trade? On our 4-year Engineering Technician Trades Apprenticeship, you’ll develop specialist engineering trade skills and gain hands-on experience maintaining the Royal Navy's fleet.

About the programme

This is no ordinary engineering apprenticeship. Our engineers are at the forefront of maintaining the Royal Navy’s fleet.

As an Engineering Technician, you'll contribute to the design, manufacture, installation, operation or maintenance of systems on ships, submarines and infrastructure. 

This varied and exciting programme covers trades including Mechanical, Electrical, Fabrication, CNC Machining, Pipefitting and Support Engineering. You'll be assigned one of these trade routes to specialise in. 

Find out more about each of the trades below. You’ll be asked to indicate your preferences during the application process.

Mechanical Fitting 

You’ll be trained to use a variety of hand and machine tools whilst learning how to identify faults and return equipment to working condition. You’ll be involved in the installation, commissioning, maintenance and repair of a wide range of equipment including engines, pumps, valves and hydraulic equipment. You could even work on complex weapon systems and nuclear reactor systems.

Electrical Fitting

You’ll learn how to use electrical engineering drawings and specifications to strip, rebuild, test and maintain a wide range of electrical equipment and machinery. You’ll gain knowledge and practical skills that will enable you to install, connect and assist in the commission of complex electrical circuits which could see you work on projects such as warships and nuclear submarines. You will also help to maintain the vast network of cables and machinery that is essential to the daily running of the site.


You will manufacture a wide range of components and construct minor and major ship structures such as the hull, shell, deck, bulkheads, seats, frames and girders using a range of metals. You’ll be trained in outfitting steelwork components, including the installation of doors, auxiliary seating, ladders, hatches and platforms. You will also learn to tack weld using different welding processes and will be trained to use thermal cutting equipment, power tools and metalworking machinery.

CNC Machining 

You will learn the various processes involved in producing precision components, from raw material state through to testing the integrity of the finished item. These components will be manufactured on CNC Turning and Milling Machines. You will learn how to manufacture basic and complex components from Engineering Drawings and learn how to work with CAD/CAM software and 3D models to produce complex components. 


Using a range of materials, from plastic to high-quality stainless steel used on submarine reactor systems, you’ll be involved in the manufacture and installation of low and high pressure pipe systems such as water, air, hydraulics, steam and fuel. You’ll learn a range of skills including how to interpret engineering drawings, how to fabricate pipes and pipe brazing. You can expect a varied workload working on ships, submarines as well as in the workshop and service systems within the dockyard.

Support Engineering

Your apprenticeship will cover a range of electrical, mechanical and construction skills. Working on a range of projects, you’ll develop your engineering skills and knowledge with the scope to learn management techniques. Working closely with Senior Support Engineers and Production Managers, you’ll make regular trips on-board the ships to ascertain work requirements.

Wherever you find yourself, you'll gain knowledge and skills in:

  • Health and safety
  • Planning and documentation
  • Engineering mathematical and scientific principles
  • Methods and techniques
  • Structure, properties and characteristics of materials
  • Diagnostic methods to overcome problems
  • Interpreting engineering drawings and data
  • Adhering to and refining processes and procedures

Your education/training

As part of your apprenticeship, you will receive training at Fife College (mechanical fitting, electrical fitting, CNC machining and pipefitting) or Forth Valley College (fabricating and welding).

Your whole first year will be spent at City College Plymouth learning the basics of engineering. In years 2 and 3 you will spend 1 day per week at college and 4 days per week in the dockyard at HM Naval Base Devonport. 

In your fourth year, you will be based in the dockyard 5 days per week. You'll be fully immersed, working alongside professionals to solve real-world challenges.

Through rotations across departments, you'll grow a broad expertise in engineering and gain insight into our operations. We'll equip you with the technical know-how and behaviours to thrive in this vital role.

The culmination of the apprenticeship is passing the required End Point Assessment, which gains you your nationally recognised apprenticeship certificate as a Level 3 Engineering Technician. 

Future prospects

Upon successfully completing the programme, you’ll become a qualified Engineering Technician, specialising in your chosen field (mechanical fitting, electrical fitting, fabricating, CNC machining, pipefitting or support engineering).

Upon programme completion, you can expect to earn a competitive salary exceeding £30,000.

You may also have the opportunity to undertake higher-level qualifications to further your career within Babcock across a variety of roles and functions.

What you’ll need

  • A minimum of 3 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above, including English, Maths and a Science or Technology based subject.
  • Logical thinking and problem-solving aptitude
  • Responsible approach to safety and quality assurance
  • Many of our early careers roles are subject to Security Clearance and Trade Control restrictions which mean that your place of birth, nationality, citizenship, or residency you hold or have held may impact which roles you are eligible for. Further details are available at United Kingdom Security Vetting: clearance levels – GOV.UK ( For our early careers roles, you must be able to achieve BPSS (Baseline Security) and many of them require you to be eligible for full Security Clearance.

What you’ll get

If you’ve got an interest in business, engineering, science or technology, a Babcock apprenticeship could be for you.

As a Babcock apprentice, you will gain hands-on experience in the workplace while also undertaking a part-time course with a training provider.

We offer a competitive apprentice starting salary and benefits, this varies between £12,000 to £22,000 per annum, dependant on the apprenticeship level, discipline and location. You can find the specific salary on the individual job posting.

As an apprentice, you’ll also receive a superb package of benefits including personal development training and opportunities, a minimum of 28 days of holiday including bank holidays and a competitive pension scheme.  

As you progress through your career, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue further education opportunities and higher-level qualifications.

We are very proud that apprentices choose to stay with us long after completion of their apprenticeship. In fact, many of our senior managers started their careers as apprentices in Babcock.

Your career development

It’s hard to beat the variety of fantastic opportunities and business experiences you’ll receive. You can expect real world encounters and exposure to exciting projects that will really help you navigate where you want to take your career.

Plus, when you join us, you’ll be automatically enrolled onto our Apprentice Development Programme. Through a series of digital and face to face sessions, presented by wellbeing and performance experts and our external partners, we will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to thrive and perform at your very best on your programme and beyond.

Closing dates

Please be aware that if there is a high level of interest in this programme, applications may close earlier than advertised. To give yourself the best chance of being considered for a place on this programme, please submit your application as early as possible.

About Babcock

Babcock is an international defence company operating in our focus countries of the UK, Australasia, Canada, France, and South Africa, with exports to additional markets with potential to become focus counties. We meet our customers’ key requirements of affordability, availability, and capability by delivering engineering, support and critical systems to defence and civil markets.

How to apply

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

Please note that applications may close before the application deadline, so apply early to avoid disappointment.

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