Refreshments Maintenance Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship

Bedford, Bedfordshire
01 Mar 2018
30 Mar 2018
Start Date
24 months+


The Unilever R&D advanced apprenticeship scheme in Colworth is your opportunity to join an exciting area within Unilever. Our apprentices follow a structured and challenging academic programme to achieve a Level 3 Diploma whilst working on real projects to deliver products that are used by some of 2.5 billion consumers every day.

The programme lasts four years and as an R&D Refreshment Advanced Apprentice you will work with the R&D Refreshment teams and support the manufacture of tea based drinks and ice cream products at pilot plant scale. 

Over the four years you will study part-time for a Level 3 Diploma in food and drink maintenance, whilst experiencing work across a range of different roles using some of the most innovative, modern and technically advanced equipment for the manufacture of new ice cream or tea-based drinks products at our world-class pilot-plant and precision engineering prototyping facility. Advanced Apprentices will follow the Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship Standard. This is an exciting area to work with the overall aim of delivering new drink or ice cream products that delight our consumers, whilst improving sustainability and competitiveness of Unilever.


  • NVQ level 3 diploma in Maintenance Engineering
  • In addition to obtaining a NVQ level 3, Apprentices will specialise in one of the following: Mechanical maintenance engineering - develop more detailed skills in the fabrication, machining & repair of complex precision equipment and systems.
  • Multi-skilled maintenance engineering - develop more detailed skills in the testing of electrical equipment and circuits, instrumentation, data acquisition, process control systems, programmable controllers and servo-drives.
  • Full-time course consisting of: part time study at a college provider chosen by the site and on-site experience working with experienced engineering leaders.

There will be a level of travel required for the role and expenses covered by the site.


  • At least 6 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above – including Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and English either obtained or predicted. Please state your predicted grade in your application if you have yet to receive your results.
  • You need to show a genuine interest in food and drink ingredients, fixing things, and engineering generally.
  • This is the next step in your career and with it comes accountability and responsibility. You will be working while you study and you will need to show you have the commitment and initiative to manage the pressures that this will bring.
  • You should have a passion to succeed and an ability to meet deadlines both at work and with your studies. You should be prepared to take on challenging work outside of your comfort zone.

Completion of the programme will ensure you have the knowledge and skills to work safely and effectively as part of a world class team preparing and operating the pilot plant and all associated rapid prototyping & precision engineering equipment and systems. It will also provide the skills for further development via higher apprenticeships that are available at Colworth, or for work in other areas of the product development process, or for a career in the full-scale food and drink manufacturing environment.


4 years


September 2018

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