University of Oxford

Apprentice Laboratory Engineering Technician- Department of Materials - Intermediate (Level 2)

University of Oxford (Employer)

Abingdon and Witney College (Training Provider)

Annual wage £20,047.00
36.5 hours per week Monday - Friday, working times to be confirmed
18 months (duration)
4 July 2022(start date)
Engineering operative (apprenticeship standard)
23 May 2022 (application closing date)
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Job Description

We have an exciting opportunity for an Apprentice Laboratory Technician to join us in The Centre for Applied Superconductivity in the Materials department. This is a varied role, where you will learn to operate, maintain and repair vacuum equipment, electrical testing equipment, furnaces and other experimental facilities.


You will work as an Apprentice Laboratory Engineering Technician. This post is to support research and development activities in laboratories situated in the Materials Department in the Science Area, including thin film growth, materials development and characterisation across a wide range of superconducting materials. The post holder will work with the Laboratory Manager and the academic staff to assist in operation of the CfAS facilities.

The post holder will report directly to the CfAS Laboratory Manager and will also be part of the technical team providing support in the Department of Materials. We have technicians who support both teaching and research in our electron microscope facility, the furnace room, the undergraduate teaching laboratories and at our Begbroke site in our fabrication facility and clean room.  We also have a small mechanical workshop and access to the Engineering workshop for trained operatives. There are also technicians who support the buildings and facilities and safety, as well as those working in IT support. There are currently 13 members of technical staff in Materials. The technical team is led by Mr Les Chorley, the Buildings and Facilities Manager.

You will be required to complete a training programme that will cover all aspects of the role and will be delivered through in-house training, as well as day-release or other distance learning methods delivered by Abingdon & Witney College at their Abingdon Campus. You will complete a Level 2 Engineering Operative Apprenticeship and on successful completion the apprentice will progress to the Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship standard which is within the Engineering and Manufacturing sector and you will gain Level 2 Foundation Knowledge and Competence, Level 3 Development Competence and BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.

College attendance and successful completion of these studies is an essential requirement of this Apprenticeship.


  • Assist in the general operation of the CfAS Materials Laboratory, providing a service to members of the Department and extenal partners working in applied superconductivity in consultation with academic directors Professor Susannah Speller and Professor Chris Grovenor
  • Assist in maintaining a strong safety culture in the laboratory, operating within departmental guidelines and help keep the safety documentation up to date
  • Learn to operate, maintain and repair vacuum equipment, electrical testing equipment, furnaces and other experimental facilities as and when required
  • Ensuring these operate effectively and safely. Performing alignment, calibration and technical troubleshooting when required
  • Assist in the design and construction of new specialist equipment, and help develop existing systems in collaboration with the users and with other technicians in the Department. This will involve using computer aided design (CAD) and learning to use software for controlling equipment (e.g. Labview)
  • Obtain quotes for parts and materials to assist CfAS purchases
  • Assist in the preparation/updating of written operating procedures for CfAS equipment and the laboratory in general. Help ensure that other users of the CfAS equipment follow these operating procedures
  • Assist in instructing students, research staff and other technicians in the safe and efficient operation of equipment and giving advice, help and guidance on the techniques and equipment to be used
  • Handle routine enquiries and take telephone messages as required
  • Any additional tasks that fall within your competency as directed

Future Prospects

On successful completion of this apprenticeship there may be other opportunities within the university for the right person to progress onto a higher level apprenticeship or alternative full time positions.

Reality Check

Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session:

  • Any new person applying for apprenticeship roles where Abingdon and Witney College deliver the training will be required to attend an Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session at Witney or Abingdon campus
  • This will consist of a series of initial assessments (required prior to any apprenticeship offer), completion of essential paperwork, the opportunity to find out more about the apprenticeship process, the training included, and a forum for your questions 
  • As a new Apprenticeship applicant you will only have to undergo this process once. If you would like to talk to us about the assessments or if you would need any extra support to attend the Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session please call us on 01235 216216

Skills Required

  • Able to demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude for the skills taught in the apprenticeship (for example through work experience, qualifications or references)
  • Basic IT literacy, including skills in word processing, spreadsheets and e-mail programmes
  • Able to communicate easily and understandably in English
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Willingness to work flexibly

Qualities Required

  • Excellent work ethic
  • Comitted to devlop and learn

Qualifications Required

Educated to GCSE standard (English and maths grade 4/C or above) or equivalent.

Training Provided

Level 2 Engineering Operative Apprenticeship

Delivery Model:

  • Work-based training with your employer
  • Day release during term time (approximately 2 days a week for 1 year)
  • Approximately 12 on-site assessment visits per year
  • Level 1 Functional Skills in maths and English (7 days at college for each, if required)
  • Off the job training will count for at least 20% of an apprentice’s time at work

Qualifications Included:

  • Level 1 Functional Skills in English and maths (If required)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Operations (Skills)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Operations (Knowledge)

End Point Assessment:

  • Practical assessment
  • Professional discussion
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