Graduate schemes and apprenticeships2018-12-06T10:36:45+00:00

Graduates & Apprenticeships

DE&S offers a number of top class graduate and apprenticeship opportunities, providing successful applicants with “hands-on” experience in roles across a range of projects.

If you have recently left school or university and are interested in embarking on a career in defence but do not yet have the experience/skills required for our listed vacancies, perhaps one of our highly sought after schemes are for you.

Engineering Management Apprenticeship – Bristol

A 3 year engineering apprenticeship with up to 30 places available to start September 2019.

The scheme is open to anyone over the age of 16 years at the start date of the apprenticeship.

Apply now

Engineering Management Apprenticeship – Plymouth

A 3 year engineering apprenticeship with up to 10 places available to start September 2019.

The scheme is open to anyone over the age of 16 years at the start date of the apprenticeship.

Apply now

Defence Engineering Degree Apprenticeship – 2019

Successful applicants will undertake a comprehensive framework of practical and academic training, on a 3-year advanced engineering apprenticeship starting in September 2019.

Apply now

Engineering Graduate Scheme – 2019

Successful applicants will undertake a comprehensive framework of practical and academic training, on a 2-year Engineering Graduate Scheme which is fully accredited by many of the major Engineering Institutions, starting in September 2019.

Apply now

Finance Graduate Scheme – 2019

Successful applicants will undertake a comprehensive framework of practical and academic training, on a 2-year Finance Graduate Scheme, starting in September 2019.

Apply now

All DE&S apprenticeship and graduate schemes

MOD engineering apprentice arms folded, smiling

Meet one of our current Engineering Management Apprentices, Chloe.


We believe that the quality and variety of our training programmes, our accelerated paths to chartership and incorporated status, our personal mentoring and huge investment in each new entrant, sets us apart from any competitors in the engineering and science field.

DE&S offers a wide variety of exciting training schemes to suit your educational qualifications.

For those not seeking a graduate scheme, DE&S also offers 2 prestigious apprenticeship schemes.

Graduate and apprentice engineering training schemes

The DE&S engineering training schemes and career paths available to you will depend on your current age and qualifications, so if you:

finance and accounting graduate outside de&s smiling

Click the image to meet Ben, a recent finance graduate now working for DE&S.

Finance Apprentice Scheme

The portfolio of MOD’s business is unique. We acquire and support a huge range of equipment, services and infrastructure to support the armed forces in both the UK and overseas operations from the latest vehicles used on the front line in Afghanistan to new accommodation for service personnel. We have by far the largest and most diverse acquisition activity of all government departments, and are comparable to any of the main private sector companies.

The DE&S Finance Apprenticeship Scheme is recruited annually during the winter/spring and is a 3 year finance development scheme. Apprentices are required to have 5 GCSE’s grades A to C (grades 4-9) including English, Maths grade B (grade 6 or above), or equivalent, and 2 A Levels grades A to C (grades 56-16) in any subject, or equivalent is desirable.

For further information on the scheme and how to apply is available in the Finance Apprenticeship Scheme brochure.

Finance Graduate Scheme

The DE&S Finance Graduate scheme provides a career opportunity in finance in the Ministry of Defence. There are in excess of 1000 finance staff in DE&S who work within the Operating Centre project and delivery teams that procure and support the equipment that MOD requires. This could be anything from army boots to warships, or ration packs to aircraft.

You will work alongside project managers, commercial officers, inventory managers, technical experts, risk managers and military colleagues to ensure that the equipment the MOD purchases is fit for purpose and achieves the best possible value for money.

The DE&S Finance Graduate Scheme is recruited annually during the autumn/winter and is a 2 year finance development programme. Graduates with a minimum 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in any subject are eligible to apply, Applicants are assessed via the MOD Management Competency Test and an assessment centre.

Full details of the scheme and how to apply are included in the DE&S Finance Graduate Scheme brochure.

Defence Commercial Apprentice Programme

The Defence Commercial Apprentice Programme is a little different from our other schemes as this MOD-wide scheme. It is recruited annually and is a 2 year development scheme. Applicants are required to have 5 GCSE’s, grades A to C, including maths and english, or equivalent. Two A Levels, grades A to E in any subject, or equivalent is desirable.

Further information and details of how to apply are available in the Defence Commercial Apprentice Programme brochure (opens on www.gov.uk)

Defence Commercial Graduate Programme

The Defence Commercial Graduate Programme provides a career opportunity in Purchasing and Contract Management in the Ministry of Defence (MOD). From army boots to aircraft and everything in between, the MOD purchases a range of equipment every year to support the armed forces in both UK and overseas operations.

And it doesn’t stop there; much of the equipment we purchase doesn’t come off the shelf so an essential part of the job is negotiating the details of the contracts we place, agreeing the terms of delivery and managing the equipment into service and beyond.

The Defence Commercial Graduate Programme is recruited for annually and is a 2 year commercial development programme. Graduates with a minimum 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in any subject are eligible to apply, however those with degrees in business management, law, politics, finance, science, engineering or defence-related disciplines may be particularly interested. For further information, please see the Defence Commercial Graduate Programme brochure (opens on www.gov.uk).

Project Professional Apprentice

Our Project Professional Apprentices are at the heart of our delivery. You’ll work across a range of roles, gaining the technical and leadership skills to shape the future of the organisation.

Why choose a Project Professional Apprenticeship?

  • Build your experience across the organisation, with structured career development throughout the two years – and beyond
  • Become a member of a leading professional body
  • Enjoy a generous holiday allowance and high street discounts
  • Access our on-site gym and network in multiple restaurants and cafés

What you’ll need

To qualify for the scheme, you’ll need at least:

  • 2 A levels, grade D and above.
  • 5 GCSEs, at grade C (or the new grade 4) and above – and these need to include English Language and Maths.

Project Professional Graduate Scheme

The Project Professional Development Scheme brings together the Project Management and Project Controls functions under a single scheme to develop a cadre of project professionals and provide a pathway between the two functions. The scheme is built around the project professional language and skills defined in the Association for Project Management’s Five Dimensions of Professionalism, with a tailored training programme around the unique DE&S practices and ways of working.

As a DE&S project professional you will be involved in delivering project success through the effective management of performance cost and time against an agreed customer scope to ensure our projects are delivered right first time to our front line command.


Duration: 2 year, plus guided year

Salary: £24,500pa approx

Hours: 37hpw

Location: Bristol Abbey Wood and various other locations around the UK.

Entry requirements: Candidates must have 2:2 or above, degree classification by August 2018.

Benefits and discounts

colourful icons representing DE&S employee benefits

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.


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.

Disability Confident Leader

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