Apprentice Building Services Engineer

Harwell, Didcot
£11,255 rising incrementally to £17,499 in the fourth year.
08 May 2019
08 Jun 2019
Start Date
24 months+

The Science and Technology Facilities Council offer a number of apprenticeships. The unique nature of the work undertaken at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory contributes to an interesting enjoyable and rewarding period of training in one of the world’s leading scientific and engineering research organisations.

As a member of STFC’s Estates Services Department, you will proactively support the Estates remit to deliver flexible, customer focused and efficient services that support the delivery of STFC’s vision, values and objectives. The Estates services team needs to be agile and able to adapt to the ever changing needs of our diverse customer base therefore it is expected that the post holder will demonstrate a flexible and adaptable approach.

All members of the Estates team will, from time to time, be expected to lead or participate (appropriate to Band level) in STFC and Estates projects that may be outside their normal remit.

You will support the undertaking of efficient and effective day to day maintenance activities relating to the mechanical services (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Domestic Water Services) at 3 STFC sites; RAL, Chilbolton Observatory and Cosener’s House. The role reports to the Mechanical Services Supervisor and will learn to carry out maintenance tasks to ensure that STFC’s HVAC services provide an efficient and continuous service to support the estate and its scientific programmes.

You will also take an active role in the installation of new/replacement mechanical services and systems across the estate.

An STFC apprentice will undertake 4 years paid training.  The salary is competitive and the apprenticeship is an ideal start to a career in Building Services. If successful in this position you will:

  • complete a prescribed programme of training to be conducted within the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories Estates Maintenance department, working within workshops and the wider scientific laboratories
  • become proficient in the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of modern mechanical building services plant (HVAC) and the associated distribution systems
  • obtain a high level of competence in pipe fitting and assembly skills including the use of hand tools and marking out
  • obtain an intermediate level of competence in welding, fabrication, brazing, soldering and other jointing processes
  • gain the skills to confidently and competently undertake fault diagnosis on a range of service equipment and systems, such as fresh and foul water, environmental control, heating and ventilation, gas distribution, process control, air-conditioning and refrigeration
  • attend college on a block release basis leading to recognised NVQ level three qualifications over a four year period
  • carry out maintenance tasks and duties at the Laboratory as directed by the Departmental Technical Manager/Supervisor, these activities will be directly relevant to the apprenticeships’ key competencies and skills and will assist the wider department in delivering their core maintenance service commitments
  • as an STFC Apprentice you will communicate to staff across STFC and at all levels. You will work as part of a team as well as working on your own.  You will also have contact throughout your apprenticeship with college tutors and visitors to site
  • champion the Estates service in a positive manner
  • deliver a high level of customer service
  • attend appropriate additional training to support the role and service delivery.

Job Requirements  

Personal Skills and Attributes

We are looking for individuals who have or will have achieved 5 GCSE passes at Grade C/4 or above including Maths, English and a Science/Technology subject.  You must be self-motivated, enthusiastic about learning and hard working.

Special Conditions

You will be required to attend and complete the required nationally recognised training courses. This will involve attendance at local educational establishments, on a day release or block release basis as appropriate.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • achieved or predicted to achieve 5 GCSE’s at Grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and a Science/Technology subject
  • interest in science, technology and engineering
  • good written communication skills as demonstrated in your CV and cover letter
  • right to live and work in the UK.


  • demonstrable interest in practical subjects and activities
  • has a clear vision of what they want to achieve and demonstrates a willingness to succeed.

Interview Criteria


  • good spoken English
  • ability to work using own initiative, and follow instructions
  • ability to work in a flexible and challenging environment
  • self-motivated, willing to undertake the work required at college and on site
  • self-disciplined
  • demonstrates a high level of interest and enthusiasm about the role
  • has a clear vision of what they want to achieve and demonstrates a willingness to succeed
  • able to work as part of a team.