Software Engineering Apprenticeship Ref 2650

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IT / Information Technology
London, Manchester
London - £24,635 Manchester - £22,889

About Us

MI5 and MI6 are part of the UK’s Intelligence Services. We work together to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats at home, overseas and online, including cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism and organised crime. Working across our vital missions, you’ll deliver impact at the heart of national security, all within a supportive and inclusive environment that allows everyone to thrive. 

The Role

Technology sits at the heart of everything we do at MI5 and MI6, enabling us to disrupt serious threats to UK national security. We're currently looking for people who have the passion to learn and grow their skills, while working in a supportive environment. Over the course of the three years, you’ll enjoy exciting, hands-on work to help us build and maintain some of the world’s most sophisticated electronic equipment, while being supported as you work towards a BSc Honours Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions (software development). You’ll be a vital part of a team that ensures the UK Government can operate in cyber space with confidence and can stay ahead of the pace demanded by the evolving digital world. 

As a Software Engineering Apprentice, you’ll have placements in various multi-disciplinary product teams, and work alongside product owners, business analysts and agile delivery colleagues. This will offer you unique insights into the work of the intelligence agencies and provide you with a chance to put your new skills and knowledge into practice. You'll collaborate with colleagues and work in teams to build technology that will help catch criminals, expand our technical capability, and improve our ability to tackle threats to national security.  As our work is constantly evolving, you’ll learn and work with some of the most advanced technology, as well as developing a broad range of technical, soft and transferable skills including teamwork, communication, and leadership expertise.  We make use of modern approaches and cloud technologies such as AWS and Azure. Our tech stacks vary between products (Java, C#, React.js, Oracle, Mongo, Elastic Search and Hadoop) but do not rule yourself out if you are not familiar with these as there is a vast amount of support from our experienced engineers along with certifications, training, and the degree to help you along the way.   There will also be opportunities to get involved in technology events as well as working with your apprentice peers across the cohorts.

During a standard week you’ll be expected to work 36 hours (37 hours in Manchester) from the organisation’s offices, our training providers offices and from home at least once a week as part of your allocated study time.  During the academic year you’ll have a schedule that outlines time for workshops, modules and your annual leave that has been set so you don’t miss any key academic delivery.

About You

To join the apprenticeship, starting in Autumn 2023, you’ll have an interest in either programming, problem solving, or technology and you’ll have (or are expecting to have by September 2023) 72 UCAS points, along with GCSE grade 4/C or above in English language and maths or equivalent functional skills (Level 2).  We encourage applications from people who do not have any previous technical experience – the most important quality we look for is aptitude and the potential to learn.

Applicants prior to commencing this apprenticeship you would not have completed or undertaken a Level 4 qualification or higher in a Software Engineering subject such as Computer Science.

Training and Development

Learning and development are central to our engineering ethos, and we invest heavily in our staff. As part of your career, we will support you in broadening and deepening your technical and non-technical skills.  The Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) capability framework is our Software Engineering profession capability framework, we use it as a compass to provide guidance, tools, and support to enable you to progress your career further whether this is growing as a leader or someone with deep technical knowledge and ability.   

You’ll take on real business tasks in software engineering and receive full training and support throughout the programme. The apprenticeship combines university accredited classroom learning in person and virtually with technical training, mentoring and job shadowing, research and development, and work-based placements and projects.  In your first 6 months you’ll experience a specific induction with your peers on the same scheme followed by a period focused on your degree and an innovation project to help develop your knowledge and skills initially.

We'll enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you'll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe. At the end of your Apprenticeship, you could be considered for full-time employment.  

MI5 and MI6 are proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that's designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As organisations that value and nurture talent, we're committed to helping you fulfil your potential.   

Rewards and Benefits

You’ll receive a starting salary of £24,635 for London / £22, 889 for Manchester plus other benefits including:

  • 25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
  • Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
  • Personal Learning Budget
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Excellent pension scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
  • Paid parental and adoption leave.

Equal Opportunities

At MI5 and MI6 diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:


We’re Disability Confident

MI5 and MI6 are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are:

  • Demonstrate a strong motivation and commitment to work for the UK intelligence agencies, assessed at application form sift.
  • Demonstrate an interest in IT and new emerging technologies, either through work experience or self-taught, assessed at application form sift.
  • Achieve a pass in the online codility aptitude test.

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

  • Application sift, looking at your technical interests and general motivation for the role and organisation.
  • Online codility test, examining your responses to different situations typical to the role.
  • Motivational Fit Interview, exploring the skills you can offer and motivations for undertaking the role.
  • Assessment Centre, including written exercise, and a technical interview.
  • If successful, you’ll receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to vetting.

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Before You Apply

To work at MI5 and MI6, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The roles are based in London and Manchester, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application. An interest-free loan via our benevolent fund is available to assist with relocating into privately rented accommodation to take up the offer of employment.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

Right to Withdraw Statement:

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.