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.
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.
These are fully funded Government Apprenticeships, with different entry levels depending on the programme.
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.
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.
The Software apprenticeship can take you into either development or testing.
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.
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.
Level 4 start only
Engineering is a very broad area, however, our Engineering Apprenticeship splits into two streams; Electronics and Mechanical Manufacturing.
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.
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.
You could go into 3 different areas with an Electronics apprenticeship.
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.
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.
There are two different career pathways with a Mechanical Manufacturing apprenticeship.
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.
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.
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:
College knowledge/theory units:
Level 3 start only
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.
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.
Level 3 start only
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!
Apart from the chance to learn a profession, gain real life work experience and earn money, you will gain several qualifications. These are:
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).
Depending on your programme, you will complete assignments and tests leading to accredited qualifications. These might include vendor specific or professional qualifications.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Time to achieve qualification
3 years depending on course
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
No tuition fees
£9,250 per year (£27,750 over 3 years)
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)
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend you:
Qualifications will depend on which apprenticeship you apply for. You can find the details in the job description.
If you are the type of person who:
... then yes, you'll fit right in and we'd love to have you in our team.
Your application will be sifted against our essential entry criteria and if it’s chosen, we’ll invite you to attend an initial situational judgement test. Throughout the process, you’ll be asked to attend a group assessment, technical interview, and occupational psychologist interview (not as scary as it sounds!).
If you’re successful, you’ll be invited to attend an Open Day. You’ll have to go through our security vetting, as the work we do with the Government is confidential. If you pass, you’ll be invited back to sign your contract of employment and attend a new starter induction that takes place in September.
Once you've finished your apprenticeship, support for additional qualifications is available along as they meet our business requirements, as well as your development needs.
Applications for 2021 are opening on 12th October 2020.
No. You can only make one application, so please select the apprenticeship most suited to you. But don’t worry, if we think you’d be more suited to a different area, we’ll chat about that with you at interview.
You can still apply, as long as your qualifications or experience is in a different area to the apprenticeship that you are applying for. Please get in contact with us to discuss whether you’re eligible.
At the end of the scheme, you’ll continue to build on your career at HMGCC while continuing to develop your skills. The opportunities here are boundless if you have the potential and the ambition.
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.
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.
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