L4 DevOps Apprentice – Oxfordshire

  • L4 DevOps Engineer
  • Oxford


Level 4 DevOps Apprentice

Company: UKRI

Full Address: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX

Weekly Hours Worked: 37

Salary: £21,700 per annum rising annually 

Closing Date: 18th February 2024

Interview Date: April 2024

Start Date: September 2024

Join STFC’s award winning apprenticeships – we are Investors In People gold standard accredited: https://www.investorsinpeople.com/accreditations/we-invest-in-apprentices/ 

Come and do amazing work whilst following a structured learning programme that develops not just your capabilities but also your confidence to thrive and grow in the workplace. Work alongside world-leading scientists and technologists, shape projects that improve lives, and daily life, in the UK and far beyond. Put simply, come and discover the impact you can make when you’re equipped, encouraged and inspired to achieve your very best.

We are recruiting Level 4 DevOps Higher Apprentices to join our Scientific Computing Department at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire.

STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD) is one of the UK’s leading centres of expertise in data-intensive science, and home to sophisticated high-performance hardware. It is one of the largest departments of its kind with over 200 computational scientists, software engineers and project support staff – and it is steadily growing as the demand for more research data management, storage and analytics increases at a pace.

Our staff are located at two UK campuses – the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, and the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. We have cutting-edge skills and expertise in scientific software research and development, and world-leading capabilities in ‘big data’ storage and analysis, visualisation and simulation, and scientific information management.

Scientific computing is fundamental to modern research. This broad and rapidly advancing field involves utilising advanced computing capabilities to understand and solve complex problems in science. SCD supports some of the UK’s most advanced scientific facilities and provides the tools that enable the scientific community to discover and deliver vital research.

The DevOps Apprentice will gain first-hand experience working as part of a professional team, supported by theoretical and practical learning. You will have the opportunity to make an impact early on in your role. You’ll also get to learn the specialist skills tailored to the knowledge, skills and behaviours required as a computing professional.

We are offering roles within the following function of the organisation:   

Cloud Operations Group   
The Cloud Operations Group runs STFC’s infrastructure-as-a-service cloud platform providing tens of thousands of CPU cores and hundreds of GPUs to scientists and engineers working on STFC and UKRI projects. We run a variety of services including our main OpenStack platform, various Kubernetes platforms and a variety of other services.

You will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other departments and apprentices during your apprenticeship.

About an Apprenticeship at STFC   

With training and support from experts in their fields, you’ll be enthusiastic about developing your knowledge, skills and behaviours, working towards completing your apprenticeship, gaining appropriate qualifications whilst making a real difference in your role.

If working with innovative technologies on world-leading research isn’t enough, you will develop both professionally and as a critical member of the team in an environment you won’t find anywhere else.

Our dedicated Apprenticeship Team will support you every step of the way, helping you make the most of your opportunities and to achieve the goals you already have – and those you have yet to discover!

We provide an opportunity to really pursue your interests and passion. You’ll have access to additional core skills development, a community of apprentices across the site, annual Apprentice awards evenings, active sport and social groups across campus, and potential opportunities to attend conferences in the UK and overseas.

STFC offers a benefits package crafted to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, an outstanding index linked pension scheme, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas closure and flexible working hours.

For a list of our full benefits, please visit here. 

About the role

Responsibilities will include:

  • Working on maintenance and development of production and development environments.
  • Working with users on issues and deployments .
  • Adapting use cases to work in a virtualised and Kubernetes based environment.
  • Developing a welcome pack and documentation for new users .
  • Adapting and developing training exercises on various aspects of our facilities.
  • Building and maintaining Docker containers for operational and user needs.
  • Investigating and providing feedback on new services and applications, and technologies.
  • Working with Kubernetes environments for operational and user needs.
  • Developing software and automations to deliver a robust and adaptable service.
  • Working on monitoring of large cloud environments .
  • Working with a Linux system environment.

Alongside this, you will undertake professional development and training as part of a cohort of computing apprentices with Estio Training on the Level 4 DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/devops-engineer-v1-0  

The modules you will complete, combined with real-world projects and experience, will provide you with the knowledge and skills to perform in a DevOps role.

Sessions will be delivered online once per month in 2 to 3 day blocks via a live Virtual Learning Environment. You will also be supported on a 1:1 basis throughout your apprenticeship by a dedicated Technical Coach and a breadth of knowledge from the wider team.

During the first portion of your apprenticeship, you will study:  

  • Principles of Software and IT Operations
  • Windows and Powershell
  • Linux and Bash
  • Cloud Providers and Infrastructure
  • Containerisation
  • APIs
  • Backend and Frontend Development
  • Scripting, Coding and Auto Testing
  • CI/CD Azure
  • Security in DevOps
  • Monitoring and Alerting

From then on, you will be supported on a 1:1 basis to prepare you for your End Point Assessment. The End Point Assessment will include the completion of a Workplace Project to enable you to demonstrate the required Knowledge, Behaviours and Skills followed by a Professional Discussion with the British Computing Society (BCS).

We are looking for the candidates with the following: 

Key – (S) is measured at shortlisting, (I) is measured at interview stage.


  • Achieved or predicted to achieve 2GCSE passes at Grade C/4 or above including Maths and English (S)
  • Level 3 qualifications* such as (S):
  • 2 A Levels (A-C)
  • BTEC Level 3
  • T-Level or
  • A previous Level 3 Apprenticeship. (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 hardware and/or software (S&I)

Your CV and/or cover letter should give example(s) of personal or school projects that involved learning about and using a computer system and what you enjoyed

As a minimum a successful candidate will be able to describe the basic components of a computer system , describe basic software development concepts and/or be aware of the range of computer operating systems and what they are  :

  • Desire to work in a scientific computing environment.
  • 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.
  • Ability to examine evidence and data in order to understand it and solve problems.
  • As a minimum, a successful candidate will be able to work systematically through straightforward problems, examine data, and link it to their understanding of computer systems in order find the cause of problems.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team.
  • Technical requirements.
  • An aptitude and desire to identify and automate repeated tasks for efficiency and accuracy.
  • Passion in programming to develop, implement and improve applications.
  • Programming skill is scripting language such as Bash, Python, Ansible, PowerShell, or Perl for interacting with our services and devises.


A flair for communicating in clear, positive terms; understanding that helping staff of all abilities understand problems and solutions is central to successful customer service.

Experience in customer facing roles such as retail, hospitality etc or examples of how you’ve helped others in personal, professional or educational settings.

A/AS/BTEC/T level or equivalent in computing or other technical discipline.

Please give subjects and expected results on CV.

Important Information

To complete the apprenticeship, you will need to evidence passes at 9-4 or A*-C in GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English. For those sitting their GSCEs in Summer 2024, we would need evidence of your predicted grades.

When applying for an apprenticeship, there is a set residency eligibility criteria that must be met by the applicant. To check your eligibility please click here.

The training provider will also ask you to complete an initial assessment during the application process. If you already have a qualification in this subject area or similar please include, as an attachment, your transcript outlining the grade/s achieved and modules covered.  By applying for this apprenticeship, you are giving permission for your details to be shared with the relevant training provider.

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe’s largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what’s possible.

We will be in touch after the closing date, however, please reach out on apprenticerecruitment@ukri.org if you have any questions.

Please note that we hold the right to close this vacancy early if a sufficient number of applications have been received.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/ 

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation.

More information can be found at www.ukri.org.

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role.

DevOps Apprentice – Careers Portal Careers

Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

To apply for this job please visit www.careersportal.co.uk.


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