2019 Engineering Apprenticeship Programme (Slough, UK)

Smiths Group

John Crane Buckingham Avenue, SL1 4LU, Slough, UK

About the role

About the role

John Crane is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of a wide range of products and services for global process and industrial markets. These include oil and gas (both offshore and refineries) petrochemical / chemical plants, LNG and fertilizer facilities plus pulp and paper sector. Products are principally related to the rotational machinery market and include mechanical seals, seal systems, couplings and filtration technologies.

We are part of Smiths Group a global technology company listed on the London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE100. We apply leading-edge technology to design, manufacture and deliver innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs. Our products and services – often hidden from view – touch the lives of millions of people every day. We serve a wide range of end markets – from healthcare, energy and petrochemicals through to threat and contraband detection, telecommunications and equipment manufacture. 

The Programme

John Crane’s Apprenticeships provide the perfect opportunity to join a high performing Operations, Manufacturing and Design/Applications team. You will work with exciting technologies and develop expertise enabling you to grow into a highly capable, multi-skilled crafts person, operations support specialist or design/applications engineer. 

In partnership with the local Berkshire based Langley College (part of Windsor Forest Colleges) you will also gain several nationally recognised engineering qualifications.

We have four different pathways available:

  • The Maintenance Trainee will involve learning how to carry our both total preventative maintenance and troubleshooting repair work on both our modern manufacturing production machinery including test equipment and general building services. This work involves a mix of both mechanical and electrical fault-finding disciplines.
  • The Craft Trainee will be shop floor based and will be trained in all the disciplines required in the production of the goods. The role will be very much hands on and cover day to day activities within Operations. Their time will be spent in the manufacturing department running a number of both CNC and manual equipment as well as spending time in the assembly and test area.
  • The Technical Trainee will spend their time both on the shop floor and office based activities such as Commercial, Purchasing, Procurement, Engineering, Manufacturing, Assembly, Test, Quality, Planning and Continuous Improvement. While on the shop floor they will be involved in the production of goods and will be trained on a number of different equipment including CNC lathes & Milling machines, they will also then spend some time in the assembly and test area.
  • The Engineering Trainee will learn about the design, manufacture and build of mechanical seals. This will involve the use of 3D CAD to design components, the evaluation of designs using test rigs and troubleshooting of seals returned from the field. A mix of theoretical and hands-on engineering.

All our apprentices take part in a rotational programme, working in all our the key areas which covers the total end to end process of Operations as well as some of the engineering functions. This includes Assembly, Test, Quality, Product Refurbishment, Logistics, Purchasing / Procurement, Planning, Continuous Improvement, R&D Laboratory, Design, Applications and Reliability Engineering.

The requirements are designed to offer stretch, progression and exposure to a variety of Technical and Operational functions within the business, including:


  • Gaining a good knowledge of the John Crane product range, applications and markets.
  • Working with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality, accuracy and timely delivery of the work
  • Being proactive in finding solutions to problems and identifying areas for improving the business
  • Supporting the development of production and maintenance techniques and systems

On successful completion of the programme our apprentices have the opportunity to take up a full-time opportunity within the John Crane business.

Training qualifications and format

The training programme will ultimately lead to:

  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in Engineering
  • An NVQ Level 3 qualification in Performing Engineering Operations
  • An apprenticeship Certificate

The first academic year will involve 4 days per week spent at a college covering a range of engineering subjects along with an overview of general business disciplines such as health, safety, quality and environment. The 5th day will be spent at John Crane premises to gain a company overview and to commence learning on the area of apprenticeship specialism. Successful completion of this programme and examinations will lead to the aforementioned L3 qualification.

In years two and three, apprentices will undertake a rotational training programme at John Crane premises to learn skills in approximately 10 different business functions, with the largest time period being in the area of agreed specialism. During this period an external college NVQ Assessor will make regular visits to the workplace to check on apprentice progress including examination and feedback of the student Evidence of Achievement Portfolios. This workplace experience and monitoring programme leads to the aforementioned NVQ L3 qualification.

The combination of the BTEC and NVQ qualifications provides the opportunity for the Modern Apprenticeship certificate.

In year three we will discuss with apprentices the possibility of returning to college to undertake further qualifications on a day release basis.

About You:

  • Have at least 4 GCSE's at Grade C/Grade 4 or above (or equivalent), and must include Maths, English and a Science/Technology subject
  • Over 16 years old
  • Strong interest in engineering
  • Desire to learn to read and understand technical drawings and schematics
  • Strong social and relationship skills
  • Self-starter and self-sufficient - will hit the ground running
  • Strong desire to work across a global business

Applicant Privacy Policy

Smiths Group will use your details for the purpose of processing your application for a role with us. If you are unsuccessful in your application, we will retain your information for a maximum of 2 years. Please be aware that your information may be transferred to Smiths Group offices worldwide for the purpose of meeting our national and international recruitment needs. We may share your information with third parties, who will process the data solely under Smiths Group instruction, for our recruitment purposes.

Please see our Applicant Privacy statement (https://www.smiths.com/-/media/files/smiths-privacy-notice-applicants.ashx) for more information about our collection and use of your personal data.

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