DE&S Finance and Accounting Apprenticeship Scheme - Higher (Level 4)

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) (Employer)

Defence Equipment & Support (Training Provider)

37.5 hours per week
3 years (duration)
(start date)
30 positions available
29 January 2023 (application closing date)
Register interest

Job Description

At Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), we're here to provide for the Armed Forces, as they serve our country all over the world. We support those on the front line by providing cutting-edge equipment and technology for land, sea, air and space. We deliver the kit the UK military needs to maintain advantage and stay protected, as they protect life at home and overseas.

You want to be an expert in your field one day. We want to help make it happen. Whichever area you join us in, you’ll discover new talents, pinpoint new ambitions, find a home among a diverse team – and be empowered to turn your gifts into an incredible career. Ready for real investment in your future? We’re developing tomorrow’s talent today.

Job description

What sets DE&S apart is the focus we put on you. We help you find your flair and then plan a flourishing career around what you love. And along the way, you’ll enjoy real rewards for the work you do, with competitive benefits and career progression. As a DE&S apprentice, you’ll find real support to reach your potential – so you can become a leader in your field.

As part of our team, you'll benefit from plenty of routes for development, access to specialist training and funding for professional qualifications, and a c.27% employer pension contribution. You’ll also have access to a wide range of employee networks, including the Women’s Inclusive Network, Race & Culture Network, Pride Network, Disability Network – and many more.

A range of apprenticeship opportunities have arisen within our forward-thinking Entry Talent Centre of Expertise here at DE&S based at Bristol Abbey Wood.

We are looking for talented, motivated Apprentices to join our Finance and Accounting (F&A) Apprentice Scheme and become our F&A professionals of the future.

Our F&A Apprenticeship Scheme is a three-year development programme focused around finance and accountancy roles across different areas of DE&S. You’ll rotate through several placements within DE&S. You may also have opportunities to work in other finance roles supporting the wider Ministry of Defence (MoD) and front-line commands.

Day to day, your placements will provide you with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of finance and accounting. You’ll gain real experience in:

  • forecasting the future budget
  • reviewing and creating accruals
  • interpreting financial and business data
  • providing financial analysis to support decision making
  • involvement in developing costing for business cases
  • tracking costs to contracts and ensuring they’re recorded correctly
  • using financial systems and business tools

Your hands on experience will be underpinned by MoD and DE&S specific training, as well as study towards achieving Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification (Levels 3 & 4) over a three-year period. Training will be delivered by a Bristol based AAT training provider.

Your duty station will be MoD Abbey Wood, Bristol, and you will be required to attend site regularly as required by your placement and / or your scheme.

Please note that your training will be hybrid, combining online and classroom-based learning with our AAT training provider.

Because of the classification of some of the information related to certain projects, some work-based placements may be open to Sole UK Nationals only.


You’ll be involved in the following:

  • Providing support to F&A staff across the business, this could include assisting with financial reporting, administrative activities, and transactional activities.
  • Building and maintaining a network of internal business contacts and peers to share and gain knowledge and identify opportunities to learn and develop.
  • Building awareness and understanding of how the F&A function and wider business operates to assist your own development and career progression.
  • Undertaking placement activities in accordance with agreed objectives in each placement area. Placement activity may include budgeting, forecasting, inventory accounting, systems management along with other finance-based tasks.
  • To be accountable to the Scheme Manager (who ensures successful completion of professional training and completion of placement objectives).

Person specification

It takes lots of different people and lots of different skill sets to keep the UK Armed Forces fully equipped and well supported.

To be successful with your application, we are looking for you to demonstrate your potential to succeed in a dynamic working environment. We’re here to help you find your speciality, so we hire for aptitude and train for skills.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and are dedicated to creating a great place to work that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. To help us do this, we encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, disabled people, and people from LGBTQ+ communities. By bringing together different ideas, experiences, and perspectives, we can achieve our ambitions, together.

You must have the right of abode in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the EEA (including other countries determined within the EEA or those with bilateral agreements), for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning.

As a result of the changes to the UK immigration rules which came into effect on 1 January 2021, the Ministry of Defence will only offer sponsorship for a skilled worker visa under the points-based system, where a role has been deemed to be business critical.

The role currently being advertised has not been assessed as business critical and is therefore NOT open to applications from those who will require sponsorship under the points-based system. Should you apply for this role and be found to require sponsorship, your application will be rejected, and any provisional offer of employment withdrawn.


You must have, or will achieve by September 2023, the following qualifications:

Essential requirements:

  • A minimum of five full GCSEs at A*-C or grades 4-9 (or equivalent) to include Maths (minimum grade B or 5-6) and English Language

Relevant experience, demonstrating finance/accounting skills, including through internships or placements would be desirable.

You are encouraged to apply with your predicted grades. Evidence of the above qualifications will be required as part of your pre-employment checks before a formal offer can be made.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions


Alongside training and development, you’ll receive the following great benefits:

  • £20,800 Starting Salary – with annual increments.
  • 25 days holiday a year, plus 1 day a year up to 30 days, 8 bank holidays and a day off for the King’s birthday.
  • A market-leading employer pension contribution of around 27 percent, and recognition awards.
  • Hybrid working (wherever possible) to support your work-life balance.
  • Opportunity to work flexibility after 6 months.
  • Use of our on-site gym, restaurant, and cafes.
  • A huge range of discounts including retail, sports, leisure, restaurants, gifts, days out, holidays, cinema, motoring, insurance, health care, gym memberships, and more.
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This page contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. The information provider is the Education and Skills Funding Agency.