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Apprentice scheme

UKAEA’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme offers a great start to a career, with training in a variety of job roles to nationally recognised standards.

The scheme started in 2005 and originally focussed on Advanced Engineering apprenticeships. It has now expanded to provide apprenticeships in a wide range of additional areas (including finance, procurement, public relations, project management and human resources) to help UKAEA achieve its future talent needs.

Apprentices learn alongside experienced professionals, working on exciting and challenging projects in a supportive environment. The programme equips them with the skills and the qualifications they need to go straight into the workplace and succeed.

UKAEA is a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer and is the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ 2020 Advanced Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year.

Apprenticeships Available:

Engineering & Technical
• L3 Engineering Technician
• L5 Laboratory Technician (Chemical Science)
• L6 Digital & Technology Solutions
• L6 Product Design & Development Engineer
• L6 Electrical/Electronic Support Engineer

Professional Support
• L2 Nuclear Health Physics Monitor
• L3 Infrastructure Technician (IT support)
• L3 Assistant Accountant (Finance)
• L3 Business Administration
• L6 Project Management

For current opportunities, see our job vacancies page.

What our apprentices say

Matthew – Health Physics Apprentice

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I chose an apprenticeship because I felt that I would suit the more hands-on learning style that an apprenticeship offers, compared to a more classroom-based environment. Earning money whilst learning also appealed to me!

What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
A highlight so far has been getting to carry out surveys on the JET and MAST Upgrade fusion devices. I was able to stand on the machines themselves and see all the components that allow them to run – it really brought home the amount of skill and knowledge that has gone into building these fusion experiments. I also enjoyed attending college for my theory training and exams.

Why should someone apply for a health physics apprenticeship?
Health physics is needed wherever work is taking place with radioactive materials; we provide assurance that our staff and the environment are being protected. As a result, we provide support to numerous departments and facilities across UKAEA. This means that we have a very varied workload ranging from routine environmental monitoring, operational support to incident response. It is also a good feeling to know that your surveys help keep other workers safe.

What are your future aspirations after completing your apprenticeship?
Upon completing my apprenticeship, I plan to work as a health physics technician and to continue my training in the maintenance and testing of radiological protection equipment across the Culham site.

Myra – Health Physics Apprentice

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Starting an apprenticeship suited me, as it meant that I could become financially independent while working towards a nationally recognised qualification.

What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
The ‘access all areas’ aspect of the health physics apprenticeship has been fascinating throughout. We work with many departments and people at UKAEA, and get to see how the organisation works as a whole, gaining wide-ranging industry knowledge.

Why should someone apply for a health physics apprenticeship?
No two days are identical – Although sounding clichéd, the health physics apprenticeship cannot be described as ‘dull’. Whether it be working with JET (the world’s largest fusion energy machine), updating various databases or responding to a radiological incident – work is diverse and engaging.

What are your future aspirations after completing your apprenticeship?
My main aspiration is to become a fully qualified Health Physics Technician with a view to continuing my progression at UKAEA.

Ryan – I.T. Apprentice

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
It felt like the right challenge at the right time. After doing work experience in I.T., I knew I wanted to be in that environment and push myself to learn while on the job. You get to learn about I.T. but also experience it in real time, with real life scenarios instead of just the ones prepared by a teacher. I feel this was the right choice for me, as I can now answer I.T. questions with the knowledge I have learnt but also have the ability to resolve an issue in the workplace, which is a great feeling.

What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
The monumental job that started in March 2020 of giving everyone at UKAEA the ability to work from home. Even though this is one of the hardest challenges we have ever faced in I.T., I feel it was one of the most beneficial. People from all around the organisation were working together and helping each other from what was a comfortable way of working to a sudden change. That team effort is a big highlight of my apprenticeship so far.

Why should someone apply for an I.T. apprenticeship?
There’s never a boring day in I.T. – there’s so much to learn, and at the rate the technology world is moving this won’t slow down any time soon. It’s great to have that constant workload and with every issue, every query and the further that you get into your apprenticeship, you find yourself being able to do a lot more and quickly developing in the organisation. The I.T. team at UKAEA is full of such welcoming and talented people and they are always there to help – even working from home they are just a message or call away.

What are your future aspirations after completing your apprenticeship?
I hope to continue my journey at UKAEA, as I still have so much to learn and there is so much opportunity at UKAEA to further your knowledge through training courses or just talking to new people. UKAEA has great plans to continue to expand and advance in all fields and I would love to be a part of that, having the ability to grow with the company.

Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS)

UKAEA’s apprenticeship scheme is complemented by a specialist training centre at the Culham site – Oxfordshire Advanced Skills. Now in a brand new purpose-built centre, OAS is a partnership between the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and training provider, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, offering apprenticeship training for many hi-tech businesses in the Thames Valley. See www.oas.ukaea.uk/ for more details.

Apprentice training
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