Laboratory Technician Apprentice

Company Details

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Vacuum Solutions Group at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at Daresbury, Warrington, are looking to recruit an Apprentice Vacuum Process Laboratory Technician to join us in September 2021. You will be part of the team processing components to a high vacuum specification for particle accelerators to enable world leading science. STFC has over 20 years’ experience in providing apprenticeships and provides an excellent training ground to equip individuals with the relevant skills and experience within the science and engineering arena.

The Apprentice Vacuum Process Laboratory Technician will safely control, monitor and adjust equipment and processes in compliance with all departmental Standard Operating and Quality procedures including ISO9001:2015, from issue of Job Card to workflow processes. They report and investigate deviations from normal operating conditions and are able to deal with basic process upsets.

The Vacuum Solutions Group within STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) is a small multidisciplinary team of experts which undertakes particle accelerator research for current and future ‘Big Science’ facilities. We work on numerous high-profile projects with national and international partners, including CERN and the European Spallation Source. Our Centre was born out of decades of advanced particle accelerator research and development within the STFC national labs at Daresbury and Harwell, delivering internationally leading large-scale science facilities.

About ASTeC Vacuum Solutions Group:

The main function of the team is to deliver vacuum system design and build for particle accelerator projects and to carry out the necessary research & development associated with delivering world class facilities. This includes supporting of component preparation for projects such as the Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications (CLARA), the European Spallation Source (ESS), the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) upgrade and Fermilab’s Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP II).

Charged particle accelerators are at the heart of numerous frontier projects in science and technology, including large scale international research facilities for particle and nuclear physics and major UK centres such as synchrotron sources for neutrons and photons. Alternative but much smaller solutions apply to medical and industrial applications. Technologies associated with all modern applications of charged particle beams continue to evolve and demand associated R&D programmes to be pursued.

Staff from ASTeC have expertise in all aspects from design through construction to commissioning. In addition to specifically selected accelerator projects we are engaged in an ongoing programme of world-class research and development studies. This apprenticeship will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills alongside world-class technicians, engineers and scientists in an environment that truly makes an impact on the world.

About the Role:

Main duties/responsibilities will include:

  • Work under the guidance and support of a team of vacuum technicians, vacuum engineers and vacuum scientists
  • Work safely and in line with established safety measures in the lab on a day-to-day basis
  • Inspection of vacuum components
  • Processing of vacuum components through a multistage system, including some large cleaning tanks and high tech instrumentation
  • Operation of all cleaners, Ultrasound Degreaser, drying ovens, Solvent Recipe, Gas Analysers and follow fault reporting procedures
  • Follow internal Standard Operating Procedures
  • Perform calibration and routine maintenance of laboratory instruments and other aspects of laboratory maintenance
  • Liaison with Staff from the various departments including Engineering (test and assembly) QC, Production and Administration
  • Awareness of maintenance of all equipment used in Laboratory.
  • Interact with Engineering for assembly and testing of all components
  • Understand ISO 9000 Operating Standards as applied to Laboratory Process
  • Understand and comply with HSE policies and procedures associated with working within a laboratory area and within a production/testing facility including Clean Room working.

Through the training provider, Cogent Skills, you will undertake a Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship which will include:

  • Fully recognised apprenticeship qualification – Level 3 Laboratory Technician
  • On-the-job competency training
  • Theoretical knowledge – BTEC Level 3 Applied Science (6 modules)
  • You will be required to attend and complete the required training courses

Key Requirements:

Candidate Criteria

We are looking for individuals who have or will have achieved 5 GCSE passes at Grade C/4 or above including Maths, English and a Science/Technology subject. You must be self-motivated, enthusiastic about learning and hard working.



  • Achieved or predicted to achieve 5 GCSE passes at Grade C/4 or above including Maths, English and a STEM subject by September 2021

Knowledge and Experience


  • Interest in science, engineering and technology
  • Ability to demonstrate and convey some basic technical engineering knowledge and skill
  • Have basic health & safety awareness, training will be provided
  • Computer literate with experience of Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Quality of CV
  • Quality of Cover Letter


  • High organisational skills and the ability to work independently
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Personal Qualities


  • High attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively as a team
  • Tenacity and ability to undertake additional training through the apprenticeship alongside a full-time role
  • Ability to follow instructions including technical instructions in English
  • Ability to work using own initiative

If you already hold a STEM qualification at the same or higher level as this apprenticeship, such as BTEC Applied Science, or a HNC, Foundation Degree or Hons Degree, then you will not be eligible to apply.

Reasons our apprentices enjoy working for us:

  • Our apprentices have access to an Apprentice Association, where you will be part of a network of diverse apprentices working across Daresbury Laboratory in a variety of role and occupational areas
  • Annual Apprenticeship Awards Evening; Outwards Bounds week for all new apprentice starters, and additional development in core skills including Insights profile building
  • Personal development is important to us. You will work with your line manager to develop your own Learning and Development plan each year
  • 30 days’ annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days
  • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%)
  • We’re based on a lively and dynamic campus bringing together SMEs and leading industry-academic collaborations located in a picturesque semi-rural location with easy access to canal-side and woodland walking
  • We are less than two miles from the M56 motorway with public transport links and access to Warrington and Runcorn national rail stations. Advice on all aspects of travel to site including car sharing is available at:
  • Diversity and inclusion are important to us. We have a corporate policy on Equality and Diversity which is supported by a Diversity Forum and implementation group. For more information on the rest of our employee benefits, take a look at:
  • There are a number of active sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym for staff
  • We value collaborative working across STFC and with our external collaborators

How to apply

When submitting your CV and covering letter you should refer to the person specification, demonstrating by example how you meet the criteria contained within. Please also include any other information, which you feel is of relevance to your application.

Applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be asked to complete a series of online assessments, which will be sent to you via email.

Following this, applicants will then be shortlisted for interview by the quality of their CV and Supporting Statement in conjunction with their assessment results.

About STFC 

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

One of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

How to Apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. 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 your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

About UKRI 

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

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 flourish 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.

Disability Confident Employer 

As a Disability Confident employer, UKRI will offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer). To enable us to do this we ask the appropriate questions within the candidate application.


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