TURN YOUR CURIOSITY INTO A REALITY

You may not have heard of the work we do, but behind the closed doors of our hi-tech facilities, some of the world’s most inventive experts are crafting, designing, and creating exciting one-off products to solve unique and interesting problems. With our fully funded Government Apprenticeship opportunities, we can help you push technology to its limits, and turn your curiosity into a reality.

 

Have you got what it takes?

Are you naturally curious about technology? Do you delve into the heart of gadgets, pursuing what’s possible - while constantly asking ‘what if?’ at every corner? If this has led to a fascination of how tech works, and an interest in designing, improving or making repairs to gadgets or programming and de-bugging nifty software applications, then our apprenticeship is the right one for you.

To earn a place as an HMGCC apprentice, you'll need to meet our entry requirements, have bags of enthusiasm and a genuine interest in software, technology or engineering.

We are offering the following apprenticeship programmes

These are fully funded Government Apprenticeships, with different entry levels depending on the programme.

Software Development & Testing

What is Software Development & Testing?

Software Development 

Software development refers to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software, usually by writing, modifying and testing code. This could be for a variety of different mediums such as creating applications, websites, system level programs, network programs or even cloud infrastructure. A software developer could be expected to apply software engineering principles to build software and solve various technical challenges. 

Software Testing 

The main task of software testing is to verify and validate an application, using a variety of automated and manual software tests. A software test engineer could get involved in the whole software development lifecycle or fulfil a specific role in this process. A software test engineer may also be expected to write some code around automating tests for the product they are working on. 

Career Path

The Software apprenticeship can take you into either development or testing.  

Software Development 

You’ll create user-friendly Apps that make sure our customers can communicate securely. You’ll be involved in creating and developing new products and will have the opportunity to research next generation telecoms and cyber technologies. You’ll work with the cyber security team to spot and correct weaknesses in existing products and ensure new products are secure by design. You’ll provide practical guidance and tools to help our customers make the best use of our products. 

Software Testing

You’ll be responsible for ensuring that HMGCC’s products perform as intended and are reliable, safe and secure. You’ll create ingenious testing activities using a varied range of testing tools and clever techniques to uncover unknown glitches and record accurate test results. You’ll work with products that can range in scale from a simple single-purpose item to a complex integrated cyber system which crosses anything from IT systems, networking, wireless, acoustics, general electronics, mobile technologies and video systems. 

What will I learn?

  • Algorithms 
  • Encryption/decryption 
  • Input & outputs & variables 
  • Procedural, event driven and object-oriented programming languages 
  • Paradigms, recursion, functions & naming conventions 
  • Debugging & testing 
  • Databases 
  • Protocols and network layers 
  • Client/server communication 
  • Security 
  • Lifecycle models 
  • Group project  

End Qualification

  • BCS certification in Software development methodologies 
  • BCS certification in Software Language 
  • C# certification from approved online provider 

Entry Point

Level 4 start only

Duration

30 months

MORE INFORMATION

What is Engineering?

Engineering is a very broad area, however, our Engineering Apprenticeship splits into two streams; Electronics and Mechanical Manufacturing. 

Electronics

Electronics plays a major role in everyday life. Just look around a typical living room you can see many electronic devices such as TVs, remote controls, mobile phones, games consoles and sound systems etc. The electronics apprenticeships offered gives you the fundamentals needed to design and build such products. The word electronics comes from a combination of the words electron and mechanics. Electronics as a discipline is therefore the design and manufacture of machines created from electrons. 

Mechanical Manufacturing 

Our Mechanical Manufacturing department offers a large range of capabilities that support the pre-production and production of equipment of a bespoke nature, our manufacturing engineers specialize in multiple areas such as traditional manual machining, CNC machining, sheet metal, injection moulding, vacuum forming and casting, surface coating, and 3D rapid prototyping in both plastic and metal. 

Career Path

Electronics 

You could go into 3 different areas with an Electronics apprenticeship.  

Electronics Development 

You would be designing systems such as single board computers and circuits that enable these computers to connect and control things in our physical environment.  This could include building prototypes to test out your new ideas.  

Electronics Assembly 

You would be taking designs and turning them into physical products that can be used by others. To be successful in electronic assembly you need to develop craftsmanship and creativity to ensure your product is built in a way that is easy to manufacture and does not fail when it is needed most. You would be working with a broad range of assembly techniques ranging from fine manual assembly to modern automated loading processes.  

Printed Circuit Board Manufacture 

You would be building the structures known as printed circuit boards (PCBs) that connect components together using the latest techniques. This would include bare boards, simple or double-sided boards and complex multi-layer boards. PCBs are a critical component in any electronic system. While doing PCB manufacture you will gain knowledge of electronics development, electronic assembly, mechanical design and some chemistry.   

Mechanical Manufacturing 

There are two different career pathways with a Mechanical Manufacturing apprenticeship. 

Mechanical Manufacture 

You would be supporting the pre-production and production of equipment in all fields of mechanical manufacture including traditional manual machining, CNC machining, sheet metal, injection moulding, vacuum forming and casting, surface coating, and 3D metal printing.  

Mechanical Design 

You would be supporting the design of electro-mechanical products, such as compact measurement devices, specialised jogs and tools, and pneumatic and hydraulic systems. You will produce build-to documentation and work with a wide variety of product support and change control tasks. You will cooperate closely with our in-house manufacturing facility and production engineers to design and model suitable solutions and engineering drawings for manufacture using our 3D CAD tools.  

What will I learn?

Electronic and Mechanical Manufacture Apprentices cover the same Standard, but on the job training will take them down either the Electronic or Mechanical Manufacture route. 

 Hands on college workshop: 

  • Producing components using hand fitting techniques 
  • Assembling and testing electronic circuits 
  • Producing CAD drawings 
  • Using lathes & milling machines 

 College knowledge/theory units: 

  • Health & safety in engineering 
  • Engineering project 
  • Maths & further maths in engineering 
  • Mechanical & electronic principles 
  • Engineering materials 
  • Organisational efficiency & improvement 
  • CAD techniques 
  • Electro, pneumatic & hydraulic systems 

End Qualification

  • L2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Foundation Competence) 
  • L3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Competence) - Technical Support 
  • L3 Diploma or Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Knowledge) 

Entry Point

Level 3 start only

Duration

39 months

MORE INFORMATION

IT

What is IT?

Information Technology refers not only to just a physical computer but everything that makes it run including the networks, servers, databases, applications and operating systems. Our IT department also look after the telephone system. It means that we can create, process, store and exchange data electronically.   

Career Path

There are four areas the IT apprenticeship could take you.  

Service Desk/ Desktop Services 

Working in a team which is the single point of contact for IT users and other government IT service desks across the UK. You’ll provide 1st and 2nd line technical support and escalate to relevant technical teams, when necessary. You’ll assist with equipment moves and rollouts in support of change programmes. You’ll assist with upgrades and new system releases and you’ll develop solid working relationships with customers across our organisation.  

Server/ Application Teams 

You’ll be responsible for resolving technical server issues. You’ll carry out development and ongoing maintenance of our IT systems and our customers’ core business solutions. You’ll assist with change programmes, upgrades, task automation and remedy server and system issues.  

Network/ Infrastructure Teams 

You’ll be responsible for maintaining and enforcing corporate network security. You’ll help to plan and monitor network usage and investigate network issues and liaise with colleagues and suppliers regarding our secure WAN connectivity. You’ll assist with change programmes, anti-virus systems, data backups and remedy connectivity issues.  

Web/ Product Teams 

You’ll be responsible for supporting HMGCC’s system applications. You’ll be evaluating business applications and will be involved in integrating appropriate solutions with existing in-house applications. You’ll also assist with change programmes, upgrades and new system releases by supporting and investigating user queries. 

What will I learn?

  • Networking & architecture 
  • Mobile & operating systems 
  • Cloud services 
  • Coding & logic 
  • ITIL foundation 

End Qualification

  • BCS certification in:
    • Networking & architecture 
    • Mobile & operating systems 
    • Cloud services 
    • Coding & logic 
  • ITIL Foundation certification 

Entry Point

Level 3 start only

Duration

18 months

 MORE INFORMATION

Our Apprenticeships

We invest a huge amount of time in developing and supporting our apprentices because we recognise just how important you are for the future success of HMGCC. And once you join us, you’ll see what an amazing career you could have with us – over 80% of our apprentices still work for our organisation since they started nearly ten years ago. Why? Because we value our staff and help you to develop your potential in order to get the career you want: this could include further training,  online learning or secondments internally and across Government to try something new or even a little bit different!

What you’ll learn

Apart from the chance to learn a profession, gain real life work experience and earn money, you will gain several qualifications. These are: 

Apprenticeship Standard 

On completing your end point assessment, you will gain a nationally recognised apprenticeship which is based on knowledge (the theory), skills (on the job competency) and behaviours (attitude, team working, communication, influencing etc). 

Accredited qualifications 

Depending on your programme, you will complete assignments and tests leading to accredited qualifications. These might include vendor specific or professional qualifications. 

Personal development 

In addition to your employment-specific training, you will gain skills and experience that will help you to develop as an individual. These include, for example: 

  • Outward bound team build (1 week residential away) 
  • Courses on time management, presenting skills, creative thinking and many more 

You’ll have a blend of classroom training, online learning, mentored work placements and projects. Each programme is specifically tailored to get the most out of your learning and practical sessions.

Your on-the-job training will be based in our high-tech facilities in Milton Keynes and your classroom training will take place at a nearby college.

Who's involved in your training?

Your college learning coordinator 

As well as your classroom tutors, the college will assign a dedicated learning coordinator to both you and your employer throughout the apprenticeship programme. They will: 

  • Explain the learning systems and assessment process to you 
  • Identify any additional training or skills needs 
  • Set tasks and activities to support your progress 
  • Help you to develop your portfolio of evidence and prepare for the end point assessment 
  • Conduct regular progress reviews with you and us to keep all parties up to date on your progress. 

Your line manager / task supervisor / mentor 

These are the people who will supervise your work, support your workplace learning & development and offer guidance to help you achieve your apprenticeship. 

Workplace apprenticeship team 

These are the people who will ensure the quality of your training at college, and support your line manager, task supervisors and mentors regarding apprenticeship compliance and assurance. 

Your apprenticeship includes:

  • Training to support the creation of one-off, cutting-edge products
  • Learning from the most inventive experts around
  • Working in an impressive, hi-tech facility
  • Being part of a well-supported team, with other apprentices who will share your experience.

Why should you choose an apprenticeship with us?

  • We’ll cover all your tuition and training fees
  • You’ll receive a starting salary £18,709, which increases each year (subject to you successfully passing the year)
  • And you’ll also get the same brilliant benefits that everyone who works here does, which includes gym access, bikes for work scheme and a balcony café. Look through our benefits to find out more
  • We listen to what you're thinking, and show you how the work we do is beyond anything you've seen or heard of before. 

Career Comparison - Apprentice Vs. Graduate

We understand that University isn’t for everyone, just the same as an Apprenticeship isn’t, so to help you decide, see a table below to compare the Apprentice and Graduate routes to becoming a Software Developer:

 

Apprentice

Degree Graduate

Time to achieve qualification

2.5 years

3 years depending on course

Level

With the opportunity to upskill to a Level 6 qualification as a top up apprenticeship after completion of the Level 4 (Additional 2 years)

6 depending on the course

Cost

No tuition fees

£9,250 per year (£27,750 over 3 years)

Career prospects

Providing you pass your apprenticeship you will be offered a role with us

You must apply for a role with us dependant on if there are vacancies

Salary (correct as at Sept 2020)

Year 1 - £18,709

Year 2 - £21,381

Year 3 - £22,985

 

Software Technician salary = £23,939

 

5 Year total- £110,953

Year 1 – no salary

Year 2 – no salary

Year 3 – no salary

 

Graduate salary = £30,880

 

5 year total - £61,760 (From which student loan repayable)

Work experience during the course

Throughout the course you will be gaining practical on-the-job experience (approx. 100 weeks over 2.5 years)

Possible summer internships in industry through the CyberFirst scheme, for which you must apply (approx. 18-24 weeks over 3 years)

Further info

To date, apprentices have been promoted to the same level as a graduate role within 2 years of completing their apprenticeship

Potential for salary uplifts through our ‘progression in grade’ process

Application Guidance

We know the assessment process can be daunting so on the following pages we’ve provided some guidance to help you.  

If you have any questions at all about the scheme, your eligibility or the assessment process, please email opportunities@hiringteam.org.uk.

Application Form

  • Read the job description thoroughly before starting your application form so you can familiarise yourself with what we’re looking for. 
  • You can copy and paste the education and work history from your CV if you already have one. 
  • You will be asked to complete a brief personal statement. You could include: 
    • A little background on you - Are you studying or working at the moment? 
    • What do you consider to be your strengths and how will that aid you in the role you’ve applied for? 
    • What are your career goals? 
  • We will be asking a couple of questions as part of the application to understand why you’re interested in applying for our apprenticeship scheme. We’re not looking for huge examples so don’t worry! We’re just looking for a genuine interest and enthusiasm in the area you’re applying to and how you’ve pursued this. 
  • We encourage you to use the full word limit to give yourself the best chance of demonstrating your enthusiasm for the role.  
  • Get someone to read through your application before you submit it to check how it reads. 
  • If you have any questions at all about the application form or if you’re unsure if you’re eligible please contact the hiring team so we can help.  
  • Once your application is submitted, the hiring team will review it to confirm you’re eligible to apply for the apprenticeship scheme.  

 

Situational Judgement Test

  • As long as you meet the eligibility requirements you will be invited to complete a situational judgement test.
  • You will be presented with a number of scenarios and you will be asked to select from four options which of these you would most likely do.  
  • The purpose of the situational judgement test is to assess whether you have the core behaviours we’re looking for in an apprentice. You don’t need to have experience; we’re just looking for aptitude at this stage, we can teach you the rest. 
  • The test isn’t timed so don’t rush. Read through each scenario and the multiple-choice answers carefully to allow you to select the one you feel you would most likely do.  
  • We can’t go into detail about the awesome projects we work on due to the nature of our work, but we’ve created these scenarios to be as close to real situations that our apprentices experience as possible. Not only to test how you would respond, but also to give you an idea of what it’s like to be an apprentice at HMGCC. 
  • There are lots of websites where you can practise completing a situational judgement test if you google ‘Situational Judgement Test’. Whilst it won’t be the same as ours as tests are usually specific to each company that runs them, it will give you a feel for what to expect.  

 

 

Assessment Centre

  • If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. 
  • It usually lasts for around 3 hours in total with some short breaks built in and we will be assessing you against our organisation’s competencies. 
  • The assessment centre involves 3 exercises which will include some individual aspects as well as working in pairs and small groups. There will also be a short individual interview, then we’ll tell you a bit more about HMGCC and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.  
  • The best thing you can do to prepare is by looking at our website and finding out more about us. Our competencies are on our website so you can get an idea as to what you will be assessed against.  
  • It’s totally understandable that you may be nervous, it’s likely that the other candidates will feel exactly the same! Our assessors know what it’s like to be in your shoes which is why they do their best to put candidates at ease as we know that’s how we’ll get the best from you.  

 

 

Interview

  • If you’re successful at the Assessment Centre, you’ll be invited to a Technical interview and an Occupational Psychologist interview. 
  • The Technical interview is designed to assess your level of understandingyour passion and why you’re interested in the area you’ve applied for. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re not looking for you to have lots of experience, we’re looking for enthusiasm and the aptitude to learn.  
  • Ahead of the interview, you will be sent a personality questionnaire to complete and this is what the Occupational Psychologist will base their interview on. There are no right or wrong answers and no set type of person were looking for. The purpose of this interview is to understand more about you as an individual 
  • The best way to prepare is by thinking about why you want to work in the area you’ve applied to, what interests you about it and how you’ve furthered your knowledge.  
  • You can take in some notes with you if this would help.  
  • Listen carefully to the question being asked. It’s OK to ask for the question to be repeated or rephrased and if you get stuck you can ask to come back to that question at the end. 
  • You will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end, think about if there’s anything you may want to ask about the apprenticeship or HMGCC 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How old must I be to apply?

Have you got any advice for completing my application form?

Is HMGCC the right fit for me?

I’ve submitted an application. What happens next?

Will HMGCC help me to gain additional qualifications?

When can I apply?

Can I apply for more than one apprentice place?

What if I want to retrain?

What happens when I finish my apprenticeship?

Any more questions?

Information for Parents & Influencers

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship offers the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications while working on the job, gaining industry experience at the same time.  

Apprenticeships previously had a bad reputation for being low paid and low quality however things have come a long way since then. They now offer a comparable alternative to university to provide not only the skills needed but also future career potential.  

Benefits of an Apprenticeship at HMGCC

  • Earning a salary from day one - Starting salary currently £18,709 which rises every year (subject to successful completion of the year) 
  • Tuition paid for by HMGCC 
  • Paid annual leave 
  • Building skills and experience on-the-job including soft skills as well as the technical skills of the role 
  • Excellent progression opportunities within the organisation but also potential to undertake further qualifications in the future.  
  • Mentor and buddy scheme to provide support in addition to the Line Manager 

Entry Requirements

Whilst we do have minimum entry requirements as detailed in the job descriptions, we’re not expecting lots of experience. We want to see that they’re really interested in the area they’re applying to and an aptitude to learn as we can teach the rest. 

When should they apply?

We recruit for apprentices once a year to coincide with the September intake for the College providing the academic side of the qualification, however, as all of our employees undergo Developed Vetting we begin recruiting in the October of the year before. Below is the approximate timeline: 

March – September 2020 – Candidates can register their interest in the scheme and will receive an email once we are open for applications 

October 2020 – Accepting applications 

November 2020 – Online assessment 

December 2020 – Assessment centres 

January 2021 – Interviews 

February 2021 – Open day & drugs test 

March – July 2021  Vetting 

September 2021  Start