Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship2022-09-26T12:47:44+01:00

Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship

As an Engineering Advanced Apprentice, you’ll be part of delivery teams across the Land, Sea and Air domains which are responsible for supporting the entire equipment portfolio of the UK’s Armed Forces.  

You’ll experience a comprehensive programme of study associated with the Engineering Technician standard over three years.  

During this time you’ll carry out four six month technical-focused, project team based placements based at Abbey Wood in Bristol, complete a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and receive training specific to defence, all while you’re completing a BTEC Level 4 HNC Engineering qualification in Mechatronics. This’ll prepare you for engineering roles within the MoD’s current and future programmes.  


This apprenticeship can provide you with many opportunities for personal development, professional development and even foreign travel. COVID-19 guidance dependent, apprentices in the past have travelled all over the world from the Falkland Islands to Australia.  

Once fully qualified, there are opportunities for continued professional development (CPD) to gain further qualifications funded through the department, such as university degrees.  


You’ll be based at Abbey Wood in Filton, Bristol but there may be an opportunity for you to complete one placement of around six months at another UK location during your apprenticeship.  

Scheme structure 

Year One  

During your first year you’ll be at college fulltime, studying for your Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering, which typically involves activities such as turning, milling, and welding. You’ll also study a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing (taught through classroom delivery).  

During the early part of Year One, you’ll be expected to attend and participate in a week of outdoor personal development activities.  

Years Two and Three  

With most of your time spent on technical-focused work based placements, you’ll pursue opportunities to develop evidence for your Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.  

These placements will last around six months and will be carried out in the Land, Air and Sea Domains in project teams supporting cutting edge military equipment. There may also be placement opportunities within the Submarine Delivery Agency.  

The academic study towards your BTEC level 4 HNC Engineering qualification in Mechatronics will be completed as day or block release at college. 

Academic subjects covered 

Your academic studies could include the following subjects; 

  • Engineering Mathematics,
  • Engineering Design,
  • Engineering Science,
  • Introduction to Professional Engineering Management , 
  • Mechanical Principles,
  • Project Management,
  • Health and Safety,
  • Instrumentation and Control Systems,
  • Electrical and Electronic Principles. 

On completion  

Once you’ve successfully completed your apprenticeship, you’ll be appointed as a Level 1 Engineer and assigned to a project in DE&S where you could be involved in the following:  

  • Manage the equipment/system modifications and updates required to meet user needs and legal requirements. 
  • Provide advice and support to military users.  
  • Liaise with MoD personnel, contractors and military users.  
  • Specify tasks for contractors.  
  • Review and analyse technical reports.  
  • Control the configuration of technical information.  
  • Become a specialist in an engineering field.  

Help & Support  

There are several ways that you’ll be supported. You’ll: 

  • have a dedicated apprentice manager throughout your apprenticeship. 
  • have assistance from an independent training assessor.
  • work with a whole host of experienced and knowledgeable placement supervisors.
  • In addition to the end point assessments, you’ll be assessed and reviewed every six weeks to support you in progressing as expected. 

 Entry requirements  

  • Five GCSEs at grade C to A* or Grades 4 – 9. The GCSEs required include English Language, Mathematics and a Science or Engineering subject.
  • You must be over the age of 16 by 01 September 2022. 

Please note this is a development apprenticeship scheme and candidates with higher level qualifications in Engineering may not be eligible.  

Selection process  

Stage 1: Initial application and CV upload.  

Stage 2: Following an initial sift, candidates are asked to complete online literacy and numeracy tests (BKSB). This may also be followed with a classroom-based written reasoning exercise depending on COVID-19 guidance. 

Stage 3: An assessment day. The day typically involves leadership, team working, engineering, mechanical and logical tests, as well as group practical problem-solving challenges. The details of this may change and are subject to COVID-19 guidance. 

Stage 4: Formal interview. 

If successful at interview a place can be offered subject to you obtaining satisfactory grades, your references, security and health checks.  


Back to DE&S Apprenticeship & Graduate Schemes

Benefits and discounts

We truly believe that DE&S is a great place to work, and we offer a unique experience for our graduates and apprentices.

We want to ensure that every single employee feels appreciated and fairly rewarded and being part of the Civil Service allows to offer a very unique and attractive benefits package including discounts on cinema tickets, sport and leisure and your weekly shop.

Discover all the ways we can help you make life easier.

colourful icons representing DE&S employee benefits

Meet our people

We have hundreds of amazing and inspiring apprentices and graduates across our organisation. Here are just some of their stories.

“You get the chance to work, gain qualifications and progress all at the same time. DE&S is very supportive, as there are lots of people with vast amounts of experience to learn from who are always happy to help.”

– Rachel, Project Professional Scheme

Turn your job into a career with DE&S. Find your place in our team today.

Meet Rachel

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Should you require support with the application process or require any technical assistance please contact the DBS team on 0800 345 7772.

A provisional offer informs you that you have been successful at interview subject to pre-employment checks.  At this stage we will initiate the necessary pre-employment checks, such as security clearance and medical questionnaires. If you are an external candidate, you are strongly advised not to give notice to your current employer until pre-employment checks have successfully been concluded.

Your provisional offer will inform you of the pre-employment checks.  The security checks, which are undertaken by National Security Vetting (NSV) Agency, usually take the longest to complete so you will be invited to commence this aspect once you have been informed that you have completed your interview, as this reduces delays. An invitation to begin the security clearance process is not a guarantee that you will be given an offer.

All candidates will be required to undertake security clearances to the level the role requires prior to commencing employment.  Assuming the candidate completes their security forms and references are returned in a timely fashion, and that no further checks or documents are required, we would expect the individual to be advised that we are in the position to make a formal offer of employment and start discussions to agree an appropriate starting date.

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions

The Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives.

DE&S is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader.

More about Defence Equipment and Support

A helicopter lands and kicks up a huge cloud of dust

Who we are

Part of the Ministry of Defence, we’re a mix of 11,500 talented civil servants and military personnel located across the UK and abroad.

Learn more
A grey fighter jet takes off from a runway

What we do

Delivering a programme of work of over £10bn annually, we ensure the UK Armed Forces have all the equipment and support they need for their operations.

Learn more
Three Civil Servants speak outside DE&S offices

Work for us

Join us in specialisms from engineering to project management to commercial – take your first step to a more rewarding career with DE&S.

Learn more
Go to Top