The force behind the armed forces, DE&S is a highly specialised, arms-length body of the Ministry of Defence, operating with a budget of £178 billion over the next 10 years. From the procurement of fighter jets and aircraft carriers to the provision of food and clothes, we ensure the armed forces have the equipment and support they need to carry out their operations at home and abroad. We employ over 11,000 talented Civil Servants and military personnel (supported by contractors from the private sector) across more than 150 locations around the world.
About engineering at DE&S
Our Engineering function enables the delivery of our equipment and support by providing specialist expertise in domain-related disciplines such as: mechanical, electrical and power distribution; software, sensors and electronic systems; acquisition safety and environmental protection; quality assurance; ordnance munitions & explosives, as well as systems engineering and integration.
Successful applicants will undertake a comprehensive framework of practical and academic training, on a 3-year advanced engineering apprenticeship starting in September 2019. Year 1 is full time at Cornwall College studying for Performing Engineering Operations Level 2 and National Diploma in Engineering, covering Mechanical or Electrical specialisations.
Years 2 & 3 consist of 3 x 6 month placements and work experience at HMNB Devonport, split by a block release HNC programme at college. Qualifications gained are NVQ Level 3 – Engineering Technical Support and HNC in Marine Engineering.
Your contracted hours will be 37 hours per week, although some additional study will be required in your own time to complete the academic part of the apprenticeship.
On successful completion of the scheme, you will be appointed to a role as an Engineering Manager at Admin/Specialist level in which you will use your knowledge and experience to support and equip the Armed Forces.
We are recruiting for up to 10 positions and the scheme is open to anyone over the age of 16 years at the start of the apprenticeship.
To be successful you must have, or be studying to obtain a minimum of 5 GCSE’s A – C or Grades 4 – 9 (or equivalent) including English Language, Mathematics and a Science or Engineering related subject AND two additional subjects.
Candidates should also distinguish between a English Language and English Literature qualification awarded.
Applicants on predicted grades should ensure that when asked if they have the mandatory grades, they tick YES, otherwise their application will automatically be rejected.
Shortlisting will be based on qualification grades; an order of merit will be determined by candidates with higher grades during the sifting process.
This scheme would not be appropriate for candidates with a Level 4 or higher in Engineering subjects.
Selection process details
Initial application. Complete the online application ensuring you add in your qualification details. A CV is not required at this stage of the process. A sift of applicants will take place in January 2019 of those meeting the relevant minimum qualifications as set out in the vacancy. Priority will be given to candidates with higher grades.
Apprentice Selection Test (AST). If you are successful at stage 1, you will be invited to AST to be held in Plymouth during the week of 11 February 2019. The classroom based assessment will examine levels of ability / knowledge for relevant areas such as English, Maths and Engineering. Successful candidates from the selection tests will subsequently be invited to a further assessment in early 2019 examining DE&S behaviours through a range of team building activities in the Plymouth or Bridgwater area.
Successful candidates at stage 2, will be invited for an interview at HMNB Devonport in April 2019. A CV will be requested prior to the interview. At the interview, we will be exploring your commitment and motivation to become an apprentice pursuing a career in the MOD. It is recommended that you research the DE&S business and understand what it is we do. As well as some engineering based questions we will be looking to explore your ability to be able to interact effectively with others, communicate effectively and manage your workload, so any examples of where you have done these things will be invaluable.
By the end of April 2019, we will issue provisional offers to preferred candidates and inform any potential reserve candidates of their status. We will initiate security, health and reference checks for preferred and where appropriate, reserve candidates. Where these checks rely on information being submitted from you as a candidate or from previous employers, it is your responsibility to make sure this is submitted in the timescales requested. Failure to attend medicals or submit information when requested may prejudice any potential offer of employment. Once all pre-employment checks have been successfully completed, we will issue formal offers of employment. These will be conditional subject to the required exam results being confirmed in August 2019.
For applicants who hold the minimum level of qualifications required to be eligible for consideration, the suitability assessment is considered to be the guaranteed interview under the MOD guaranteed interview scheme.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Things you need to know
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.
Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.
Open to UK nationals only.
Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.
Grade entry qualifications
Candidates must have or be studying to obtain or be on track to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs A-C or Grades 4-9 (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths, a Science or Engineering related subject AND two additional subjects. Candidates should also distinguish between English Language and English Literature. Applicants on predicted grades should ensure that when asked if they have the mandatory grades, they should tick YES, otherwise their application will automatically be rejected.
Short Listing will be based on qualifications; however, priority will be given to candidates with higher grades.
The Scheme would not be appropriate for candidates with a Level 4 or higher in Engineering Subjects.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Contact point for applicants
Information on the apprentice recruitment process:
Information on DE&S Advanced Apprenticeships:
The Defence Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship is a development scheme suitable for an engineering manager role in DE&S. Suitable applicants are those who have minimal experience of working in an engineering role or do not hold a Level 4 qualification.
All vocational and academic qualifications held or in progress must be declared.