Engineering Trades Apprenticeship

Ready to learn a skilled trade?

On our 4-year Engineering Trades Apprenticeship, you’ll develop specialist engineering trade skills and gain hands-on experience building or maintaining the Royal Navy’s fleet.

About the programme

This is no ordinary engineering apprenticeship. Our engineers are at the forefront of maintaining the Royal Navy’s fleet.

This varied and exciting programme is available at Devonport (Plymouth, England).

Find out more about each of the trade routes below.


You’ll work with different metals to build ship parts like the hull, deck, and seats. You’ll also learn how to put together steel components, like doors, extra seats, ladders, hatches, and platforms. Additionally, you’ll pick up welding skills, using different methods, and become skilled in using cutting equipment, power tools, and metalworking machines.


Mechanical Fitting

You’ll be trained to use a variety of hand and machine tools whilst learning how to identify faults and return equipment to working condition. You’ll be involved in the installation, commissioning, maintenance and repair of a wide range of equipment including engines, pumps, valves and hydraulic equipment. You could even work on complex weapon systems and nuclear reactor systems.


Electrical Fitting

You’ll learn how to interpret electrical engineering drawings and specifications to strip, test and maintain a variety of electrical equipment and machinery. You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the practical skills you’ll need to install, connect and assist in the commission of complex electrical circuits on ships and/or submarines. You will also support the daily running of the site by helping maintain a vast network of high and low voltage equipment, advanced robotic panel lines, and CNC machinery.



Using a range of materials, from plastic to high-quality stainless steel, you’ll be involved in the manufacture and installation of low and high-pressure pipe systems such as water, air, hydraulics, steam and fuel. You’ll learn a range of skills including how to interpret engineering drawings, how to fabricate pipes and pipe brazing. You can expect a varied workload working on ships and submarines, as well as working in the workshop and servicing systems in dockyard.


CNC Machining

You’ll learn how to make precision components from start to finish, using CNC Turning and Milling Machines. You’ll create both basic and complex components based on engineering drawings, and also work with CAD/CAM software and 3D models to produce complex parts.


Support Engineering

Working on a wide range of projects, you’ll learn electrical, mechanical, and construction skills. Throughout your apprenticeship you’ll enhance your engineering skills and knowledge, while also working towards developing management techniques. Working closely with Senior Support Engineers and Production Managers, you’ll make regular trips on-board the ships to understand work requirements.


Future prospects

Upon successfully completing the programme, you’ll become a qualified Engineering Technician, specialising in your chosen field.

Upon programme completion, you can expect to earn a competitive salary exceeding £34,000.

You may also have the opportunity to undertake higher-level qualifications to further your career within Babcock across a variety of roles and functions.

Where you'll be based

See below to find out more about the areas of our business that are offering places on our Engineering Trades Apprenticeship programme for Autumn 2024.

Babcock International’s Devonport Royal Dockyard facility in Plymouth is co-located with HM Naval Base Devonport to form the largest naval support site in Western Europe.

Working in partnership with the Ministry of Defence at Devonport, Babcock provides through-life support for submarines, surface ships and associated systems and equipment as part of our continuing commitment to support our nation’s naval capability.

Working at Devonport Royal Dockyard, you’ll contribute to the design, manufacture, installation, operation or maintenance of systems on ships, submarines and infrastructure.

Find out more about our operations at Devonport here

Current Openings

View our Apprenticeships page for current vacancies

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