Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC245371
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £15551
Date Posted 23 May 2018
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 22 August 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £15,551
Grade: Computing Apprentice
Contract Type: Fixed Term (4 years)
Hours: Full Time/Part Time (minimum 25 hours per week)
Closing Date: 22nd August 2018
Interview Date: Weeks commencing 3rd and 17th September 2018

Our Organisation

STFC is a world-leading, multi-disciplinary science organisation and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. We have large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe used by thousands of scientists performing thousands of experiments every year. The facilities provide a range of research techniques to help scientists better understand our world and the universe!

Computing is essential to the science that STFC supports. We need keen individuals to support us in the development of new software and systems. We are recruiting Computing apprentices to work at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. You will be based in a group with computing professionals in one of STFC departments. During the apprenticeship scheme you will rotate between several departments gaining a range of experience. These placements will complement formal training and are developed to support you as you work towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions Degree.

Opportunities & Responsibilities

You will undertake placements that will develop your expertise in:

  • software engineering including server, client and web development
  • scientific software development
  • business and enterprise software development
  • developing code to automatically control scientific equipment
  • Linux, Cloud and high performance computing systems management
  • data management and big data
  • working with scientists and engineers.

You will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow team members on a daily basis
  • communicate with users, scientists, engineers and management to understand their requirements and translate these into a specification
  • take an active role in both technical and non-technical meetings
  • show initiative especially regarding learning new things
  • work independently at times and ask questions if unsure
  • take responsibility for ensuring your work does what is needed and meets the quality criteria specified.
  • write documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • analyse evidence and data in order to solve problems
  • help deploy solutions to production and help provide support after release
  • use a variety of tools and technologies used by the teams to develop software and computer systems
  • present a topic to a small group of people and answer questions
  • participate in the wider department and STFC apprentice training programme.

You will be supported to undertake paid degree-level training. In addition to this and “on the job” training, you will have opportunity to subscribe to professional online tutorial sites, attend technical courses, undertake various soft skills training and take part in our organisation-wide apprentice networking and training events where you will meet and get to know other apprentices such as our electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering apprentices. You will be assigned a mentor for the duration of the scheme.

About You

As a starting point we expect you to:

  • enjoy making things, want to help people solve problems and an enthusiasm for a career in IT
  • have gained or be on track to gain at least a minimum of two A levels at grade A or above OR three A levels at grade C or above OR a BTEC Level 3 in Computing (or similar subject) or equivalent
  • have good communication skills both verbal and written
  • have strong organisational skills
  • have some knowledge of computers and programming.

Please see “Job Requirements” for more information.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria


You should have:

  • a minimum of two A levels at grade A or above in any subjects OR three A levels at grade C or above in any subjects OR a BTEC Level 3 in Computing (or similar subject) or equivalent - please give subjects and results in CV
  • good written communication skills as demonstrated in your CV and cover letter
  • some knowledge of and enthusiasm for computer programming and/or hardware - your CV and/or cover letter should give example(s) of personal or school projects that involved learning about and using a programming language and/or hardware and what you enjoyed
  • desire to develop personally and professionally - your cover letter should explain why you have applied for this computing apprenticeship scheme and any activities you are involved in to help you develop personally and professionally.


You may have:

  • a qualification that involved work where you followed the design process – please give subject, project and results in CV. You may wish to describe the project in more detail in your cover letter
  • A/AS level (or equivalent) in Computing or other scientific/technical discipline - please give subjects and results in CV
  • A/AS level (or equivalent) in Mathematics - please give subjects and results in CV.

Interview Criteria

All shortlisting criteria above plus:

Knowledge and Experience


You will have:

  • some experience of computer programming
  • as a minimum you will have written a simple programs, web page or app in any programming language
  • some knowledge of computer hardware and computer systems
  • as a minimum you will be able to describe the basic components of a computer system and be aware of the range of computer operating systems.

You may be stronger in one area than the other.

Personal Skills and Qualities


  • ability to examine evidence and data in order to understand it and solve problems
  • as a minimum a you will be able to work systematically through straightforward problems, study or examine numerical data in detail, in order to discover more about it and link it to your understanding of computer systems in order to gather evidence and find the cause of problems
  • excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team.
  • as a minimum you will have a good command of English (verbal and written) allowing you to be able to communicate well with other members of staff. You will understand the importance of working well within a team
  • ability to work independently and manage small projects
  • as a minimum you will be able to demonstrate that you are able to plan and manage your own work, that you are conscientious and have the ability to pay attention to detail.

Special Requirements

  • be able to attend off-site training as required including overnight stays.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.   At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

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The closing date for applications is 22nd August. The interview/assessment dates for this vacancy are during weeks commencing 3rd and 17th September and will be held at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.