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Control and Instrumentation Apprenticeship: Technical Author (Level 3) AWE

Aldermaston, Reading
Starting salary of £11,000. This increases annually with second year salary of £18,300.
Closing date
27 Feb 2023

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Control and Instrumentation Apprenticeship: Technical Author (Level 3 Advanced)

C&I is one of only two 'critical trades' at AWE and is vital to the successful delivery of our programme of work.  Put simply, C&I Engineers enable a wide range of different automated processes to run.  To help you understand the technology you will be writing about and to give you the skills and expertise to become a specialist author, you will spend three years studying Control and Instrumentation (C&I).  

Technical Authors are the specialists who generate written instructions on how to perform all kinds of technical tasks in a safe, controlled way.  It’s a skill that is in demand across a wide range of industries ranging from car assembly, aircraft maintenance to telecommunications.  At AWE the role of Technical Author involves producing documentation that explains how to safely build, support and service the UK’s nuclear deterrent.  

As an apprentice you will initially be based within the Skills Academy you will develop a basic knowledge of C&I and learn the associated skills.  You will further your knowledge through academic studies on day release at college.  Thereafter you will progress to the manufacturing aspect of your training where you will start to apply these core skills in a live working environment.  This will include servicing, repairing and installing various systems to support our facilities: temperature control, flow and pressure measurement, display gauges and recorders.  Once you have completed three years studying C&I and become a qualified maintenance engineer you will start to build your skills as a Technical Author.

Your first out-turn year will be spent learning Desktop Publishing, Technical Authorship and applying your C&I knowledge to written work instructions.  You will go on placements around the business learning communications techniques and gain a Diploma in Technical Authorship as you work towards a career in Technical Publications.

At the end of your apprenticeship and first year in the workplace you will be able to:

  • Understand the technology
  • Collaborate with subject matter experts to clarify technical issues
  • Gather and understand the information needs of the user
  • Organise and articulate information in a clear and concise written instruction for issue to users undertaking technical tasks

Technical Authoring may appeal to you if you enjoy:

  • Understanding how systems/machinery/assemblies work
  • Observing and writing
  • Problem solving activities 
  • Computer related activities
  • Applying engineering principles into real life scenarios

Entry requirements:

  • Two A Levels at grade C/4 or above. One subject in English or Mathematics (or equivalent)
  • A practical aptitude for engineering or technology 
  • PC literate 
  • Great communication skills both written and in person
  • Good command of grammar and vocabulary 
  • Excellent team working skills 
  • Health and safety aware 
  • Effective at following instructions 
  • Ability to concentrate for long periods
  • A passion and motivation for this profession 


Age: Applicants must be aged 16 or over, as of 1st of September 2023, due to security clearance requirements

If you currently hold a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering or similar, you should consider applying for a Degree level apprenticeship.

Duration of training: 4 years (3-year apprenticeship + 1-year authorship training) varies depending on personal performance)

You will be based at Aldermaston near Reading.

What we offer:

  • We offer our apprentices a starting salary of £11,000. This increases annually with second year salary being £18,300
  • A market leading contributory pension scheme
  • Generous holiday entitlement and excellent work/life balance including a 9-day working fortnight. This means that every other Friday you won’t be required to work! 

Alongside these benefits you will get the opportunity to learn from some of the top leaders in their field whilst helping us to continue to deliver national nuclear security, threat reduction and counter-terrorism solutions.

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role and be willing and able to work in designated areas – if applicable.  

We recruit on a rolling basis which means as soon as our positions have been filled, we close our applications.  

Successful candidates must be available to start on the Apprenticeship Programme in September 2023.  


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