Software Engineer Apprentice

  • Level 4
  • Manchester
  • £22,890 - £24,635


North and South 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.

Job description

Technology sits at the heart of everything we do at North and South, 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.

Person specification

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 2022) 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.

  • 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.

Selection process details

To work at North and South, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria on our website.

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.

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.

 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.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting. See our vetting charter. People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.