About the Role

Put simply, the National Physical Laboratory helps set the standards by which everything is measured – combating global issues such as climate change, curing diseases and developing cutting-edge communications technology. At NPL, our apprentices are making their mark and getting involved in real projects, whilst developing invaluable skills and gaining qualifications.

As an apprentice, you’ll get involved in delivering ground-breaking and impactful engineering, science and measurement projects right from the very start of your career. You’ll be learning from industry experts who will blend practical experience with invaluable guidance and theory.

You will engage in a range of engineering activities in the design and manufacture of bespoke high precision instruments, special purpose machines and scientific research equipment. You will have exposure to disciplines ranging from systems engineering to software engineering, mechanical to electrical & electronic design and manufacture, including all aspects of a product lifecycle. A wide range of engineering career pathways and opportunities will be open to you.

The typical training programme over the four years will be as shown below:

Apprenticeship standard: Engineering technician

Year 1 will include 40 weeks off-the-job training with a local training provider (Kingston College) to attain practical skills and knowledge across mechanical, electrical and electronic disciplines and you will start Level 3 BTEC. On successfully completing   the initial training period you will return to work at NPL.

Year 2 you will spend time in different technical areas gaining further experience in the various disciplines. You will start a Level 3 NVQ, while studying to complete your Level 3 BTEC on day release.

Year 3 you will be able to specialise in one of the disciplines, continue with your Level 3 NVQ   and you will be given an opportunity to start an HNC in your chosen area of specialism.

Year 4 you will continue to gain practical experience through working in your areas of specialism, completing your Level 3 NVQ.

Your day to day tasks as an Apprentice Engineer will include:

  • Mechanical engineering, manufacturing parts including the use of hand tools, conventional and CNC machine tools, fitting, assembly and commissioning.
  • Design and drawing components using Computer Aided Design for part modelling and producing engineering drawings.
  • Assembling, testing and maintaining electrical equipment/circuits.
  • Wiring and testing programmable controller based systems.
  • Design, construction and programming of automation systems.
  • Electronic circuit design using circuit simulation and design tools.
  • Electronic circuit manufacture, measurement, testing and diagnosis.
  • Assisting in the development of prototypes and product improvements.
  • Attending training sessions and workshops to expand your technical skillset.
  • Contributing to team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and project discussions.
  • Supporting in NPL Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach.

What we can offer you:

  • A comprehensive programme designed to provide a solid foundation in engineering.
  • Exposure to cutting-edge technologies and industry-leading practices.
  • Mentoring from seasoned professionals who are passionate about sharing their expertise.
  • Personal and professional growth opportunities, continuous learning and development.
  • Soft skills development training – you will have an opportunity to improve your communication skills, time management, team working and presentation skills.
About You

You will be able to demonstrate the following skills, behaviours, and qualifications:

  • Minimum of 5 GCSEs, grades 5 / C or above (or predicted). These need to include Maths, English, and a Science subject. (AS or A-Level would be an advantage)
  • A demonstrable practical ability and an enthusiasm for how things are made and work.
  • A professional approach to work, and willingness to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good team working skills, demonstrating cooperation and flexibility.
  • Great attention to detail.
  • Resilience and determination to keep going at times when the work is challenging
  • Good time management skills. All aspects of work will need to be delivered to the highest quality without exception and so the ability to plan and organise. This role requires meeting coursework deadlines and attendance of lectures and observations.
  • Live within a commutable distance to Teddington and Kingston upon Thames.

About the process

  • Submit your CV with a cover letter, explaining what attracts you to the NPL Engineering Apprenticeship programme by the closing date
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview including a presentation task, followed by an assessment day, held at our Teddington site.
  • Programme start date September 2024.

Please note: Applications will be reviewed, and interviews conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward. We may at any time bring the closing date forward and encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.

We actively recruit citizens of all backgrounds, but the nature of our work in specific departments means that nationality, residency and security requirements can be more tightly defined than others. You will be asked about this throughout the recruitment process.

About Us

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre of excellence that provides cutting-edge measurement science, engineering and technology to underpin prosperity and quality of life in the UK.

NPL and DSIT have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled, black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

At NPL, we believe our success is a result of the diversity and talent of our people. We strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, as part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we hold memberships and accreditations to ensure we’re creating an environment where all our colleagues feel supported and welcome, please see our Diversity & Inclusion page.

We are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefits. Our values are at the heart of what we do, and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.