Apprenticeship level: 4
Approximate scheme length:2 years
Salary: Starts from £18,624
Eligibility criteria:
5 GCSE's A*-C (or equivalent) including maths and English language. Plus 2 A Levels A*-D (or equivalent). You are not eligible for this scheme if you currently hold or are working towards a qualification at the same or higher level in a related subject and content from the qualification of this scheme. You must be 18 years of age by 1st September of the year in which you apply, to be eligible for this scheme.

What will I be doing?

You'll work alongside a team of experienced commercial professionals, including senior managers, to develop an understanding of the end-to-end commercial life cycle. You will develop skills in procurement sourcing and early market engagement, supplier management, decision-making, analysing risk and compliance, and negotiating final contract agreements.
What will the scheme involve?

You'll complete 4 six-month placements working with commercial managers in a broad range of diverse business areas. These could be in any of our core business areas, such as rail operations, infrastructure, surface, tech & data, corporate services or commercial strategy, planning and governance.

Each placement will see you undertaking a wide variety of responsibilities that increase with your development on the scheme. You will start by learning simple procurements to understand the business; by the end of the scheme you will be running tenders, processing payments, managing contracts and engaging with stakeholders and suppliers, and will have an extensive understanding of commercial thinking and strategies.

What training and support will I get?

For the duration of the scheme you'll have a business sponsor that is responsible for the design and delivery of the apprenticeship scheme. They will help secure the right placements for you and support you in your professional development. You'll also have a mentor that'll support and guide you sharing their knowledge and expertise. Finally you can expect to have a buddy, either a previous apprentice or graduate from this scheme. Your buddy can answer any day to day questions you have and share their experiences with you.

During the scheme you'll not only complete the qualification but also have opportunities to complete additional training courses. These will vary from soft skills training to technical skills training. Your sponsors and placement managers will ensure you attend all the relevant training to support you in your role.

What do we look for?

You will be enthusiastic, self-motivated, adaptable and resilient. With a strong ability in problem-solving, you will be forward-thinking, able to challenge and be full of innovative ideas, which you will deliver using your strong communication skills to build relationships with both internal business stakeholders and external suppliers.

Where can this career take me?

Successfully completing the Level 4 Diploma means you'll become eligible for membership at the CIPS institute. The qualification can become a pre-requisite for the Level 6 MCIPS and the full professional licence, and therefore it offers the potential for chartered status. Upon completing the scheme, you could progress to a Commercial Officer role which would open up many senior management opportunities for you, such as assistant commercial manager, commercial manager, senior commercial manager, head of commercial, commercial director - there's no ceiling to how high you could aim!

A career in commercial has a lot of scope and is transferrable into both public and private sector organisations. One thing is true of all businesses; commercial procurement is a vital activity and will always be required, meaning that this apprenticeship is an excellent foundation for any career.

Contacting Us

If at any time you need to speak to anyone within the recruitment team then please contact us Monday - Friday between 08:30 and 17:30 on 0333 0062939 (Option 1) or alternatively email us at