Applications re-opening Autumn 2022!
Unfortunately applications for the Commercial Apprentice Route are currently closed. We will start taking applications in the Autumn of 2022.
Please check back then, or email [email protected] for more information.
DfT requires a range of commercial skills to deliver the most effective outcomes for the many high-profile, national projects we are responsible for implementing. The Commercial Apprenticeship Route allows the Department to invest in talented individuals; developing relevant commercial capability to support the critical work we do by giving them hands on experience working on substantial infrastructure projects, such as Heathrow expansion, HS2 and Rail Franchising.
The Commercial Apprenticeship Route is the Departments three-year apprenticeship-based programme which will provide you with a well-rounded, stretching experience of working in a commercially-focused environment in addition to completing a nationally recognised qualification. Depending on your preference, you will initially undertake a Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply (including Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply qualification) or a Level 4 Professional Accounting (including Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualification) apprenticeship, whilst working in a commercially-focused 18-month placement. Following completion of your initial placement you will rotate in to a second, stretching 18-month placement to broaden your commercial experience and further develop the behaviours and leadership skills required for a long-term Civil Service career.
During your time on the programme you will benefit from a range of coaching and support including from; the HR Talent Team, a buddy and a senior mentor. Ultimately, this programme is designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills and practical experience to begin your challenging and rewarding commercially-focused career in the Department for Transport.
More about the Commercial Apprenticeship Route
What does the Commercial Apprenticeship Route offer?
‘Commercial’ at the Department for Transport can be summarised into four main areas:
- Procurement – buying goods and services
- Contract management – enforcing existing contracts with suppliers
- Corporate finance – shareholding for the Secretary of State and advising on projects
- Project delivery – achieving milestones
On the Commercial Apprenticeship Route, you could find yourself in any of these business-critical and fast-paced areas, on an 18-month rotational basis.
As a commercial apprentice at DfT, you will also have the opportunity to complete two professionally recognised qualifications which will allow you to build your knowledge and skills in a commercially-focused environment. You will have the opportunity to initially undertake an apprenticeship in either:
- Level 4 Professional Accounting including Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification
- Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply including Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) qualification
Alongside the apprenticeship, you will ALSO complete:
- Association for Project Management (APM) qualification
In addition to the formal qualifications, the programme offers you the opportunity to:
- Begin a career in DfT Commercial which will see you creating and managing varied and complex commercial projects and relationships.
- Undertake varied, engaging, and rewarding work; allowing you the opportunity to have a direct and tangible impact on policy and delivery.
- Develop highly marketable skills; beneficial for your continuous professional development and long-term career.
- Build contract management skills and play a key role in ensuring critical services are delivered to the public.
For more information about the apprenticeship standards, please visit:
What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?
There are a range of benefits to undertaking an apprenticeship. This includes having the opportunity to:
- ‘Earn whilst you learn’; an apprenticeship at DfT offers you the opportunity to earn a competitive salary whilst working towards a nationally recognised qualification.
- Secure a qualification with no tuition / student fees as the programme is fully funded by DfT.
- Gain valuable ‘on-the-job’ experience as you will be working in a real role and contributing to ‘live’ business outcomes, whilst gaining transferrable work-related skills which will allow you to build your professional network and progress towards your longer-term career aspirations.
- Take your first steps towards a successful career in the Civil Service.
- Spend 20% of your contracted working hours dedicated to your apprenticeship learning.
- Receive coaching and support throughout the apprenticeship and further placement from a dedicated Talent Coach, the DfT Talent Team, an apprentice buddy and senior mentor.
- Join the department as part of an established cohort so you have a ready-made network of peers to support you through your apprenticeship learning and broader development.
What support can I expect during my time on the programme?
As with any development programme, we expect participants to engage fully with the offer and make the most of the opportunities provided both formally on-programme, and informally through professional networks and exposure to the department’s critical work. At DfT, we will ensure that you have the necessary support available for the duration of your time on the programme, and in the run-up to your graduation, as you consider the next steps for your ongoing development and future career.
You will be supported by:
- A Talent Coach: Throughout your apprenticeship you will be assigned a dedicated Talent Coach who will support you for the duration of the programme; providing you with guidance, advice and to help you progress through the apprenticeship learning in the timescales required. On completion of your apprenticeship, you will then have quarterly development chats with the HR Talent team who will be on hand to support you through your final placement and provide additional development.
- A Mentor: You will have access to a senior mentor outside of your line management chain who will have extensive industry experience within the commercial field. They will assist and support you during your time on the programme; sharing their knowledge, skills and experience in a supportive and reflective environment. The mentoring relationship will also provide constructive challenge; encouraging you to explore new ideas and perspectives so you can adapt and thrive in challenging situations.
- A Buddy: You will be assigned an existing DfT apprentice buddy who will help you settle into your apprenticeship and answer any questions you might have.
“This is an exciting opportunity for you to begin a rewarding career within the Civil Service, where you will build your Commercial skills in a stretching role whilst working towards a nationally recognised qualification. The Department works on a wide range of complex commercial transactions and projects that shape the economic, local and social geography of the country, helping businesses, communities and individuals. The Commercial Apprenticeship Route will provide you with the opportunity to work on some of these; combining theoretical learning with practical skills-building in two stretching job roles by allowing you to grow your experience and apply your new skills and knowledge in high-profile, commercially-focused roles and kick start your new career with us.“
– Nick Joyce, Director General Corporate Delivery Group
How do I apply?
In order to join the Commercial Apprenticeship Route, you will need to be:
- Committed for the duration of the three-year programme.
- A self-driven, highly motivated, committed and engaged person.
- Able to communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner.
- Flexible to change.
- Highly numerate.
- Able to work effectively within a team and by yourself.
- Dedicated to developing yourself and completing the relevant qualifications outlined as part of the programme.
Qualifications and experience
To be eligible for this programme, you will need to:
- Be at least 16-years old.
- Have the right to work in the UK.
- Have been a resident in the UK/EA/EEA continuously for 3-years before starting the apprenticeship.
- Have left full-time education when the apprenticeship starts.
- Not be in receipt of funding for other learning programmes (including another apprenticeship).
- Hold a Level 3 qualification (2 x A-Levels or equivalent) in addition to 5 GCSE’s including Maths and English at A*-C grades or equivalent. Please note that possession of certain qualifications may impact your eligibility for this opportunity – please see below for further information on this.
Individuals who hold or who are working towards a similar qualification of the same level or higher i.e. Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB or equivalent) or CIPS Level 4 will not be eligible to apply. Candidates who possess unrelated qualifications will be considered.
If you apply and are found to possess any of the above, your application will not be considered and any offer of employment will be withdrawn and your contract terminated. If you are unsure whether you will be eligible for this apprenticeship, please contact [email protected].
This is your opportunity to demonstrate your passion and aspiration to work for us.
You will be asked to complete online tests including:
- A situational judgement test.
- A verbal reasoning test.
- A numerical test.
If you are successful in passing the online application you will be invited to the virtual assessment centre, which will test your strengths and suitability for the programme through a range of activities including a written assessment, presentation and interview.
The assessment centre will be held remotely in the week commencing 31st May 2021 due to present social distancing measures, and will consist of a half day of assessment activities with additional time required to record your asynchronous (video) interview.
If you have any questions around how and when you can apply for the Commercial Apprenticeship Route, please email [email protected] for more information
Who are we?
The programme is administered by the HR Talent & Apprenticeship teams within DfT. As the programme leads, we will oversee the day to day running of the programme and be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Throughout your apprenticeship journey and beyond, the DfT Apprenticeship Team will be on hand to support you; from the pre-induction stage right through to your graduation from the apprenticeship programme. During your apprenticeship, the team will coordinate a range of activities for you and your line manager in support of your development; including cohort-based learning events, an annual awards ceremony and networking opportunities. The HR Apprenticeship Team will work with the learning provider to ensure you remain on track throughout your apprenticeship; providing additional support as necessary to individual apprentices and line managers and ensuring you are in the best possible position to succeed with your apprenticeship.
The HR Talent team will also be on hand throughout your apprenticeship; meeting with your Talent coach to check you’re on target and provide any necessary support. In your second placement, the Talent team will hold quarterly development chats with programme participants to ensure you’re being exposed to opportunities which will allow you to develop your commercial skills and continue to build your professional capability. Once you have completed your apprenticeship, we will be responsible for confirming your permanent appointment and helping you to think about your career development and any future goals.
Working for DfT
Find out more about why the Department for Transport (DfT) is a great place to start your apprenticeship.
Our commitment to inclusion
We embrace diversity and celebrate our differences. Everyone is involved in making DfT an inclusive and great place to work.
Download our brochure!
For more information about the Commercial Apprenticeship Route, download our brochure.