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Software development trainee schemes

Our software development trainee schemes offer the opportunity to work at the forefront of digital health. Developing your skills and knowledge while supporting NHS Digital to transform health and care.

Sign-up for notifications for September 2020 placements. These are advertised between October and November 2019.

 

All currently available NHS Digital roles are advertised on our careers pages.

About software development

Software lies at the heart of all our daily lives. Many of our interactions are now through applications and services. The quality and efficiency of these interactions is massively influenced by well-designed software.   

Software development covers disciplines associated with IT systems design and development, including:

  • analysis of requirements, systems design and testing new implementations
  • support and maintenance of live systems
  • research into latest technologies (AI, machine learning, cloud technologies, blockchain)

Who we are looking for

We are looking for people who are:
 

  • passionate about making a difference on a national scale
  • dedicated to professional development
  • good at working well with others
  • interested in using technology when it's the best answer.

Types of trainee schemes

The academy at NHS Digital offers 3 types of software development trainee schemes:

1. Graduate scheme

Our software development graduate scheme provides a unique opportunity to join an agile development team at NHS Digital and create the software that will transform services across health and care. You'll join teams from across the organisation, learning from highly motivated experts and contribute to our successful deliveries

What we offer on the graduate scheme

You’ll join the Academy on a 2-year fixed-term contract earning circa. £24,214, over the 2 years you will work towards a junior developer role. Providing that you successfully complete the programme, you will be invited for an end of scheme assessment, which may lead to a permanent role at circa. £37,570.

Skills and qualifications you'll need to get on the graduate scheme

We are looking for people who are interested in code, dedicated to professional development and have a passion for making a difference on a national scale. 

You must have or be expecting a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree and be able to show us a portfolio of work demonstrating your interest in coding.

2. Apprenticeship scheme

The digital degree apprenticeship is an opportunity to gain a fee-free degree whilst also gaining real-world on the job experience. Your apprenticeship training is provided by either QA, University of Roehampton or University of Exeter.

During your 4 years on the scheme we will fund your BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions degree following the software engineer specialism.

Find out more about the apprenticeship and degree

What we offer on the apprenticeship scheme

You’ll will join the Academy on a 2-year fixed-term contract earning circa. £21,084, over the 2 years you will work towards a Junior Developer role, Providing that you successfully complete the programme, you will be invited for an end of scheme assessment, which may lead to a permanent role at circa. £30,401.

Skills and qualifications you'll need to get on the apprenticeship scheme

We are looking for people who are interested in code, dedicated to professional development and have a passion for making a difference on a national scale. 

You will also need:

  • 5 GCSE's 9-4 (A-C) including maths and english or Level 2 equivalents
  • 3 A-levels A-C including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects or equivalent (NVQ/ SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National)
  • portfolio to demonstrate experience of software development to date - for example, course work, personal projects

If you have studied in a similar field at level 4 or higher you are not eligible to apply for this opportunity, however you might still be eligible for one of our other apprenticeship or graduate schemes.

3. Industry placement

Our industry placements are a chance for degree-level students to get in-depth experience and a chance to complete a larger project to support their degree course. You’ll join a team in our national delivery centre where you'll get to contribute to solutions that really help our users and create significant value and opportunities for clinicians and patients across the whole of England.

What we offer on the industry placement scheme

You'll join us on a 1-year fixed-term contract in the Academy earning circa. £21,089. During your time with us you'll gain 1-year of software development industry experience working in a multi-disciplinary team on some of the most important health and care services in the England.

Skills and qualifications you'll need to join our industry placement scheme

We are looking for people who are interested in code, dedicated to professional development and have a passion for making a difference on a national scale. 

You should be studying for a computer sciences, STEM or any other degree where software development forms a key part of the qualification.

What you'll do

As a software development trainee on any of our schemes you'll be involved in the development of services and products for both the public and health professionals.

You'll have opportunities to rotate through different assignments depending on the scheme and length of projects available. During your time as a trainee with us you may be involved in:

  • multi-functional end-to-end development teams comprising of business analysts, developers and testers
  • agile development approach
  • open Source and commercial technologies
  • value-driven to solve real user problems

At NHS Digital we work on lots of exciting projects and products that support health and social care. For example, you could end up working on many of our biggest products and services, such as Spine or NHS.UK.

Find out more about the Spine

The Spine is known as the "technological backbone of the NHS" and stores around 150TB of data. This includes the details of 80 million people and 2.6 billion requests for information and associated amendments. 

The Spine connects clinicians and patients to national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, Summary Care Record and the e-Referral Service, which allow clinicians to deliver safe and effective care to patients.

Find out more about NHS.UK

NHS.UK is the main public facing NHS website. It gets 1.5m visits a day and has 228k twitter followers. NHS.UK provides health related information and tools including: Health A-Z, lifestyle advice, performance data & patient ratings.

It’s a cloud hosted, enterprise level website built by multi-disciplinary teams using a mixture of commercial and open source software.

Who you'll work with

As a trainee you won't be on your own, you'll work in a multidisciplinary team alongside experienced software developers and trainees like yourself. Along with the wider team, a career mentor and growing trainee community your support network couldn’t be better. 

At NHS Digital we see our graduate as future leaders and influential specialists. You will be mentored by members of our Leadership Programme to ensure that you grow expertise in your subject area while gaining an understanding of business and strategy.  

When I joined as a graduate, I was afraid that I might be given mainly admin jobs, but it was totally the opposite. I have received support to be able to choose my own pieces of work right from the start. I've also been able to build products from scratch - giving me the satisfaction of owning something I built. I work closely with the delivery teams and product owners to plan how work can be delivered, I have been involved in user research, the design of the product and presenting to stakeholders, among many other things. Everyone's opinion is listened to, even the most junior graduates.

Find out more about our previous trainees

Trainees from across our apprenticeship, graduate and placement schemes share their experiences of working for NHS Digital in their trainee stories.

How we'll support you

You'll get a blend of specialist learning and development activities covering technical and leadership training, including:

  • agile working - for example, professional scrum developer
  • cloud technologies - for example, AWS cloud practitioner
  • specialist skills - for example, Splunk, Cyber security
  • presenting, writing and verbal communication skills

Mentors and buddies

You'll also be assigned a mentor and a buddy to offer you 1-2-1 support through the scheme.

 

Mentor

Your mentor will be a more experienced member of staff from within the NHS Digital software development community and will provide wider professional experience and guidance to further enhance your development and pass on their skills and knowledge of the organisation.

Buddy

Your buddy will be a previous or existing trainee who will be able to give peer to peer support and further induction and socialisation to the organisation. Previous cohorts of trainees (whether or not they are still undergoing training) can also be expected to perform mentor or buddy roles, which may in turn form part of your development through the reinforcement of existing learning.

Scheme benefits

In addition to a competitive salary with planned, transparent progression you can look forward to the following benefits:

  • 27 days annual leave entitlement increasing with service
  • buy and sell annual leave scheme
  • contributory NHS Pension (with a 20% contribution from us toward the cost of your pension)
  • flexible working opportunities
  • a range of NHS discounts covering, for example, shops, restaurants, gym, mobile phones and insurance - including 20% off Nandos
  • season ticket travel loan
  • car lease scheme

 

For more information visit our Working at NHS Digital page.

Application process

To secure a job on one of our software development trainee schemes you will:

Submit an online written application

Apply via Job Train using your CV.

Complete online tests

The tests you'll complete will vary depending on the scheme you are applying for.

Complete a video interview

If you pass the online tests you'll be asked to complete a short video interview telling us what skills you will bring to NHS Digital and why you want to work with us.

Attend an assessment centre

You'll then attend an assessment centre in either Leeds, London or Exeter where you will:

  • get to meet some of our current NHS Digital trainees, who will tell you more about the scheme
  • have the opportunity to show us how well you work collaboratively and can prioritise tasks
  • undertake a formal face-to-face interview with existing staff and graduates from previous years schemes
Receive a job offer

If you are successful at the assessment centre we will then offer you a job and start pre-employment checks.

If you would like to know more about the other trainee schemes we offer please visit our graduate and apprenticeship scheme pages.

Further information

  1. internal

    Graduate scheme

    The graduate scheme is a two year training programme, run by NHS Digital, to develop our workforce to meet the future needs of our business.

  2. internal

    Apprenticeship scheme

    An apprenticeship combines a practical job with study. The standards are designed by industry organisations and end with a qualification, ranging from GSCE to degree level.

  3. internal

    Trainee stories

    Trainees from across our apprenticeship, graduate and placement schemes share their experiences of working for NHS Digital.

  4. internal

    The Academy at NHS Digital

    The Academy at NHS Digital gives exciting ways to join the forefront of digital health, whilst learning new skills as part of one of our structured schemes.

Last edited: 24 February 2020 7:45 am