Prototype Engineer Apprentice 57-1409 UNILEVER U.K. CENTRAL RESOURCES LIMITED

The successful candidate will be self-motivated and have a positive attitude. The Ice Cream Processing team at Colworth has a vacancy based at their Advanced Prototype Engineer Centre (APEC). This is an exciting, level 3 engineering apprenticeship programme in collaboration with the AMRC at the University of Sheffield.

This apprenticeship requires you to apply through the employer's website.

Apply now

Closing date: 30 Apr 2024

Apprenticeship summary

  • Annual wage


  • Working week

    You will work Monday - Friday. Your start and finish times including your shift pattern will be determined by the employing company.

    Total hours per week: 37.5

  • Expected duration

    36 Months

  • Possible start date

    16 Sep 2024

  • Date posted

    11 Mar 2024

  • Apprenticeship level

    Level 3 (A level)

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    1 available

What you will do in your working day

The role involves working within an established team of multi-skilled engineers that manufacture one-off prototype equipment and machinery related to new ice cream product manufacture via hands on machining and fabrication. This is an ideal opportunity for a school leaver with an interest in the engineering sector within a fast-moving goods company (FMCG). The ideal candidate will be self-driven, keen to learn and can commit time to study whilst working.

Ice cream is a large and highly successful business in Unilever.  It is also one of the most complex products to make because of the wide array of product formats and mixing, forming, filling, shaping & freezing technologies involved. The ice cream process development team is responsible for identifying, creating, and delivering innovative and reliable new processes to support the design and manufacture of ice cream products across our world-renowned global (e.g., Magnum, CdO, Cornetto, Walls), premium (e.g. B&J, GROM), and regional brands (e.g. Cremissimo, Ingman, Evga, Cucciolone) that meet consumers’ needs.

The Prototype Engineering Apprentice will learn the skills required to machine and assemble mechanical parts and components from engineering drawings to implement new process technologies in close partnership with designers, process development engineers, and project teams, as well as key external partners/suppliers (e.g., machinery & component suppliers, process technology and control system suppliers). 

The successful applicant will work a 37.5-hour week and a competitive salary package. Other Unilever employee benefits are available including a contributory pension scheme and on-site sports facilities. Unilever has also a strong learning culture with access to extensive training and career development resources.

Main Accountabilites

  • After receiving suitable training, use a broad range of modern engineering machinery, machine tools (manual and CNC) and welding machines (TIG - spot) to manufacture prototypes of mechanical components, sub-systems, nozzles, jigs etc. from stainless steel, food grade aluminium and plastics
  • Use precision measuring instruments to manufacture and check that parts are made accurately as per drawings and specifications
  • Working with designers, control engineers and process developers on creative engineering solutions
  • Work under supervision to manufacture one-off prototypes, assemblies, and machined parts to food grade standards right first time. Specific training will be given if required
  • Support good housekeeping and safety of the APEC working in conjunction with the APEC Supervisor/Group Safety Advisor

There is a 38-block release learning in year 1 which will be based at the AMRC at Sheffield full time (accommodation funded by Unilever).

The training you will be getting

You will study on a Level 3 Machining Technician Standard. On completion of this, you will gain a qualification in Engineering at Advanced Level 3:

  • EAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Machining (Development Knowledge)
  • During the first year of the apprenticeship, your learning will take place at the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre based at Catcliffe, Rotherham, for an initial block of study on a full-time basis. After this, you will attend the Training Centre for one day a week for knowledge study

What to expect at the end of your apprenticeship

  • Completion of the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre apprenticeships are nationally recognised qualifications which are acknowledged and respected by employers across the world. These can open the door to many more opportunities, such as Engineering Management and Project Engineering positions across a range of sectors worldwide

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills and personal qualities

Communication skills, Organisation skills, Problem solving skills, Analytical skills, Initiative


GCSE or equivalent English Language (Grade Grade C or 4) Essential
GCSE or equivalent Mathematics (Grade Grade C or 4) Essential

About the employer

Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, pioneering & innovating for over 120 years & enhancing the lives of over 2.5 billion consumers every day using our products to feel good, look good and get more out of life. Producing over 400 brands across 190 countries gives us a unique opportunity to create positive change, grow our business and achieve our purpose of making sustainable living commonplace. Our products range from nutritious foods, household care essentials, indulgent ice creams, refreshing teas, luxurious shampoos, disease combating soaps… and many more. This means you will find at least one of our products in seven out of ten households on the planet. By joining our Engineering team as an apprentice, you will become part of our inclusive community of over 8000 of the most highly skilled Engineers worldwide, spanning across 320+ factories. Working together, supporting each other, and implementing the latest technology and design to build ground-breaking solutions and innovations.




Colworth House

Colworth Laboratory


MK44 1LQ

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Training provider


Adjustments for experience

You could reduce your training time, or finish your apprenticeship faster, if you have relevant prior learning or experience. This could be relevant:

  • training
  • qualifications, like an NVQ in a relevant field
  • industry or sector experience


AMRC Training Centre Recruitment Team

Apprenticeship standard

Machining technician

Level 3 (A level)

Demonstrating experience

If your application is successful, you will have a chance to discuss your relevant prior learning or experience with your training provider and employer. You will all need to agree any adjustments to your training plan.

You should be prepared to show your competence, and evidence of relevant qualifications

Employer's Application Instructions

Please follow the link to apply on the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre website and complete an application form. Once this has been received, it will be reviewed, and you will receive an email response with the next steps of the application process. Please note the AMRC Training Centre reserves the right to close company vacancies, should they get filled, ahead of the published closing date.

This apprenticeship requires you to apply through the employer's website.

Apply now

Closing date: 30 Apr 2024