Scientific Apprenticeship

Job Reference: NNL/TP/18608/948
Number of Positions: 3
Contract Type: Permanent
Salary: £16,767
Working Hours: 39 per week
Closing Date: 19/03/2021
Job Category: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Business Unit: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Location: Preston

Job Introduction

NNL is not like any other business, and our Apprenticeships are like no other. Our Apprentices are our future, which is why we have a dedicated apprentice programme which supports our apprentices in their personal development whilst they are completing their apprenticeship.

To welcome you into the business, all our NNL apprentices join a 3 day induction programme. This will give you an understanding of the business, the programme you will follow and what we’ll expect from you during your apprenticeship. Following your induction, you’ll be supported through your apprenticeship journey focusing on personal development. This covers a range of skills from time management to team working. We’ll learn about you together.

We have a dedicated apprentice Advisor who is there to ensure that you are settling into your apprenticeship at NNL, both in the workplace and at College.


Main Responsibilities

As a nuclear Scientist, you will be working at the forefront of the nuclear research and development programme that makes NNL one of the world leaders in nuclear energy. Scientific technicians are needed to test and calibrate equipment as well as undertake investigations and analyse samples. You will work with hazardous substances; you will learn about health and safety procedures and safe working practices.

For your Scientific Apprenticeship you will spend four days of your week onsite with your technical team at NNL and attend College on a day release. You will study a relevant scientific qualification to your technical team, learning things such as:

  • Calibrations
  • Sampling and titrations
  • Conduct investigations and tests
  • Assess data and write reports
  • Dealing with technical data
  • Develop presentation techniques

For this apprenticeship subject to pre-qualifications you will follow either the Nuclear Operative (Level 2) or the Laboratory Technician (Level 3) apprenticeship standard. Further details about the standards including the assessment plan can be found at:

As a laboratory technician scientific apprentice, you will be working at the forefront of the nuclear research and development programme that makes NNL one of the world leaders in nuclear energy. Our Scientific apprentices are needed to support our nuclear research and development by operating our process equipment, testing and calibration of equipment as well as undertaking investigations and analysis of samples.

You will learn about:

  • Nuclear Operations and Processes
  • Calibrations
  • Measurement and analysis methods
  • Conduct investigations and tests
  • Assess technical data and contribute to technical reports
  • Develop presentation techniques

As part of your apprenticeship, you will gain both on the job experience in the workplace, whilst earning a salary and undertaking the necessary training to complete a qualification at a local college provider on a day release basis.  

The Ideal Candidate

You'll already have a good academic background when you apply for an apprenticeship with us. You should have attained  5 GCSE's A-C (New Grading 9-4) including Maths & English.

You will be on track to achieve or have attained A-Levels at a Pass mark minimum (one of which must be Chemistry) or a BTEC in Chemistry at a Pass grade.


We’re looking for people who can be part of our future. People who want to succeed and have the commitment and motivation to get there. People who ask questions and demand answers, who’ll be open to learning and work hard.

We’re looking for bright, enthusiastic achievers who’ll want to be part of our mission to grow the nuclear industry.

Applicants must be 18 or over (or by September 2021). Due to the nature of our work we can only accept applications from those who have held UK residency for the last 5 years.

About The Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials

NNL has a vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (ED&I) where NNL aims to be an inclusive workplace that attracts diverse talent through transparent and equal policies and procedures. We want you and the diverse mix of people that we employ, customers that we service and stakeholders that we influence to feel valued. We encourage a workplace culture where everyone can thrive with a sense of belonging.