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Finance Apprentice (Level 7)

UK Research and Innovation
Swindon, Wiltshire
Closing date
9 Dec 2021

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Role Type
Start Date
24 months+
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  • Organisation: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract
  • External Closing Date: Dec 2, 2021
  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 27,938
  • Hours: Full-time


With a strong interest in launching a career in finance, we know that you want to use your talent, skill, and dedication to make a difference. At UKRI, you will get the opportunity to do just that. Our finance teams support world-leading science and innovation and enable ground-breaking research that will inspire, shape and define our future.

UKRI is the largest public sector funder of research and innovation with an annual budget of over £8bn. With a Finance team of just over 150 people across our UK sites, we have responsibility for enabling the delivery of high-quality financial services to ensure public funding for research and innovation is spent efficiently and effectively. We are part of the Government Finance Function with the ambitious vision to “put finance at the heart of decision making; driving the agenda, not just keeping score.”

Our impact is felt across the whole organisation where we work with policy makers, leadership teams, researchers, programme and project managers, engineers and scientists, to share perspectives and expertise, influence decisions, and put forward creative solutions to problems. 

Finance is a large department and the work is always varied. One day you might find yourself supporting UKRI’s overall budgeting and associated financial planning at Corporate and Council level; the next you may be providing financial advice or supporting the production of our Statutory Accounts. We can offer you real breadth of experience in a truly unique organisation.

The UKRI Finance Team are looking to recruit 4 Graduate Apprentices to start in February 2022 based either at Polaris House, Swindon or the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire. The role will incorporate an ACCA Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeship, delivered by training provider First Intuition, alongside a challenging but rewarding role. We will fund and support your studies over a 3-year period to achieve full ACCA qualifications in addition to helping you develop a broader range of personal and professional skills. The Apprenticeship programme consists of exams and work-based learning, and so you should be prepared to work hard to achieve the substantial rewards these placements will offer.

We know it’s important to consider future career prospects and there are plenty of opportunities to continue your professional development after your initial apprenticeship within UKRI.

Key Accountabilities

Prior financial experience is not required, and this opportunity is ideal for recent graduates looking to start a career in finance or those who are looking for a career change. 

The key accountabilities will depend on the specifics of each placement. However, they are likely to include:

  • Carry out reconciliations, monitor expenditure / income and support the production of management accounts, including variance analysis
  • Cost centre and Project budget setup and maintenance
  • Maintain key spreadsheets and trackers, providing advice and analysis on the financial data
  • Prepare journals and collate backing papers and evidence to maintain an audit trail
  • Support writing the annual accounts and year end processes, including collating and preparing notes to the accounts
  • Supporting asset management, recording and physical verification
  • Preparing reports, including graphs and data to help explain numbers in reports
  • Preparing forecasts to help effective cash management
  • Support to the Governance team on the internal audit programme
  • Working with partners within UKRI
  • Develop knowledge of the rules and guidance that underpins Government Finance
  • Provide ad-hoc administrative tasks across the team 
  • Take ownership for your learning and development under the apprenticeship

During your training, you will be expected to be self-motivated, organised and able to follow policy whilst meeting deadlines. With great attention to detail, you’ll work diligently through the varied work assigned to you. We will provide the support to enable you to succeed.

The Selection Process

Initially, you will be asked to submit an online application outlining your suitability for the role. If you are successful then you will be invited through to complete a numerical reasoning test. The final stage will be an assessment centre which may be either held at Polaris House, Swindon or digitally delivered, dependent upon Government advice on work and travel.

Shortlisting criteria

Essential Criteria: 

  • Degree, equivalent qualification or relevant experience
  • GCSE in Maths and English
  • Good inter-personal skills, particularly in communication (both written and verbal) and problem solving
  • Excellent numeracy skills
  • Good ICT skills, including MS Office
  • Self-motivated
  • Good time management skills
  • Able to work well within a team but also show initiative, with the ability to work independently
  • Able to travel occasionally to other UKRI sites; and to either Reading or Bristol for training

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience working in a finance or business environment
  • Experience working in a team

UKRI Benefits

  • A benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege holidays, flexible working hours and an exceptional pension scheme
  • You’ll get the chance to work on innovative projects with international collaborators
  • Cycle-2-work scheme
  • Discount vouchers for high street stores and attractions

We would ask candidates to note that during your apprenticeship you may be required to work at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for an extended period, although predominantly roles are Swindon based.

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