Border Force - Border Force Apprentice - North

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Wednesday 20th October 2021


Reference number



Plus allowances of up to 49% but on average is 15-30% allowance


Administrative Officer

Contract type


Business area

HO - Border Force

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



Edinburgh, Teesport (Hartlepool), Immingham/Grimsby, Glasgow, Holyhead image description

About the job


The Home Office is here to make the UK safer. Border Force is a Law Enforcement arm of the Home Office with primary responsibility for UK Border Security, including counter terrorism, immigration and customs matters.

We are responsible for handling the UK border control by implementing immigration and customs regulations and working with the wider Home Office on counter terrorism, organised crime, modern slavery and trafficking. Border Force has six operational regions in the UK: North, Central, Heathrow, South, South East, Europe and International. These regions have responsibility for securing the border 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at the UK’s 140 seaports, airports, 200+ general aviation ports, postal depots, inland border facilities and international rail network. This includes the Eurostar from Brussels and Paris to London St Pancras International, Seaports from Calais, Dunkerque to Dover and the Eurotunnel from Coquelles to Cheriton, where Border Force has juxtaposed controls.

This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a team that both protects and enhances the UK economy. Our work is varied and rewarding, attracting people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Job description

You would be expected to be responsible for delivery of a wide variety of tasks, in an airport or seaport/maritime environment, which may include but are not limited to:

• Supporting the operation at the Primary Control Point (PCP); conducting baggage searches, queue management, health measures at the UK Border and casework support (not an exhaustive list).
• Assisting in the profiling people, goods and vehicles for border offences, making referrals to the customs examination area, conducting and noting interviews as necessary.
• Supporting casework and dealing with associated queries resulting from work on the PCP.
• Detecting and assisting in the investigation of offences arising from the importation/exportation of prohibited and restricted goods and illicit importation of excisable goods.
• Gathering information from individuals and making appropriate notebook entries for evidential purposes. Attending court as an official witness and reporting own involvement in cases when required.
• Undertaking Custody Officer duties, as and when required.
• Undertaking Cyclamen Operational duties, as and when required.
• Supporting general aviation and maritime operations, which will include visiting privately operated flights and vessel arrivals. This could be at your normal work location or at private airfields/marinas.
• Making arrests of persons, conducting the search of these people and their supervision. Assisting with the search of premises or vehicles.
• Ensuring arrangements are made for the issuing of appropriate documentation following a decision to detain, refuse entry or remove an individual.
• Demonstrating the professional behaviours associated with a law enforcement organisation.
• Reporting and presenting the outcome of any investigation as a witness in court when required.
• Please note that you will be expected to drive to and from locations and drive in an official capacity.
• Due to the mobile nature of this post it will include overnight stays (expenses and accommodation will be provided) as part of the operational requirements.

Please note that due to the mobile and flexible nature of these posts you will be expected to be deployed to support a wide range of multi-skilled duties as detailed above.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are designed to strengthen capability in the Civil Service by developing skilled professionals in priority areas. They provide a unique opportunity to combine formal learning and development with on-the-job experience. The apprenticeship qualification is transferable across the Home Office and is not just specific to Border Force.

Why apply for an Apprenticeship with Border Force?

This apprenticeship offers you a fantastic opportunity to learn, earn and develop your skills. If successful, you will be joining over 280,000 people in the Operational Delivery Profession across Government who have the vital job of keeping the UK running and make a real difference to people's lives.

This role gives you an opportunity to:

• Be in a position to positively affect some of the challenges facing the UK today
• Gain nationally recognised qualifications including Level 3 Award in Operational Delivery
• Develop a wide range of skills and experience that will prepare you for a career both inside and outside the Civil Service

Length of Apprenticeship

The apprenticeships will take up to 18 months to complete and you will serve a period of probation. You will join the Home Office on a permanent contract and will be appointed at AO grade.

We rely on diversity of culture and thought to deliver our goals. To ensure we can do that, we seek talented, qualified employees throughout our organisation, regardless of race, colour, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, nationality, religion, age, disability, marital status or any other protected characteristic.


What does the training involve?

We will be teaching you about legislation; procedures; personal safety and how you will be deploying your powers. Then once we’re sure you understand the theory, we’ll be taking you through extensive application of that by putting it into practice in a safe environment with our trainers in our classrooms and out in operational areas.

Modular technical skills training will focus on immigration and customs legislation and will be based upon your role and the location to where you are posted. The training will consist of three parts including pre course online learning, classroom learning and mentoring. Making well balanced decisions is key and a career in Border Force can be extremely rewarding, which includes a comprehensive training programme of several courses. The length of the training courses will vary depending on the role, with the longest being 5 weeks. The training period is crucial to preparing you for your initial career as a Border Force Apprentice however this will be supplemented by the ongoing support available from your manager, mentors, buddies and your colleagues.

Where will the training take place?

You may be allocated to a training space in your preferred location. You will be allocated to one of our hubs near Heathrow, Manchester, Folkestone, Stansted, Tilbury or Gatwick. If you do not live within a reasonable commutable distance to one of our training locations, there may be a requirement for some overnight stay to complete your training.

You will receive full joining instructions closer to your start date. Prior to starting your training course, you will be asked to attend an induction week in the region you have accepted a role. You will be able to organise travel and accommodation arrangements. Reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be covered. Wi-Fi will be available throughout your residential so you can stay in touch with friends and family during the course.

What we are looking for in an Apprentice:

It is essential in your application that you demonstrate strong performance across the strengths set out:

Successful candidates will need to demonstrate they:

• Have excellent interpersonal skills, enjoy interacting with colleagues, members of the public and external stakeholders

• Are flexible, adaptable and creative in solving problems and dealing with change

• Are able to successfully perform a range of multi-skilled duties

• Have a strong sense of personal ethics and integrity

• Are able to confidently manage potentially difficult and challenging situations

• Can demonstrate sound interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills and thrive working as part of a team

• Have leadership potential or demonstrated leadership ability

• Think in an objective and analytical manner

• Are robust at enforcing UK law whilst maintaining professionalism and sensitivity

Some posts based at Glasgow Airport will be mobile roles and successful candidates will be required to deploy to Cairnryan or other ports as required, and this will involve regular overnight stays for short periods.

Eligibility Criteria

You must be a UK national - evidence of which will be required either by way of a full and valid British passport or providing alternative evidence of UK nationality in line with the Civil Service Nationality Rules. UK nationals who hold dual nationality are able to apply for this reserved post.

Be at least 18 years old. You will be required to work between midnight and 4am, so this is a legal requirement. For more information visit:

You must be able to provide all of the ID documents we need to complete your pre employment screening and security clearance. Please see the list of acceptable ID documents, which is attached to the job advert. You will be expected to provide your ID documents at the interview. This includes your passport and two other forms of identification.

These roles can be demanding. If successful you will be required to complete and pass specialist training including Personal Safety Training (PST) which develops skills in personal safety, arrest, control and restraint techniques. This demands physical activity and physical contact with delegates on the course. You will be required to complete a PST health declaration and, if necessary, attend a medical examination. A formal offer cannot be made if you do not possess the required level of physical fitness to undertake and pass the training.

The role is a uniformed post and as such requires the highest standards. Non-offensive tattoos which are visible are permissible, as long as they are not facial or on the front or side of the neck (above collar line). Tattoos behind the ear lobe on the back of the neck are acceptable. Tattoos will need to be covered up for certain official events e.g. State Funerals, Opening of Parliament, Remembrance Parades and other ceremonial events. Under no circumstances should tattoos that could be considered offensive be made visible. This could include discriminatory, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, political, rude, lewd, crude or violent.

Home Office applicants with a live attendance management warning are not eligible to apply for vacancies during the initial 3-month improvement (live warning) period; however, they can apply for posts during the following 9 month sustained improvement period.

Previous background in security is not required. Instead, you should be able to work flexibly within a team environment, as priorities can change rapidly.

Training and Development

We are committed to investing in our staff and offer a range of work-based training and qualifications, coaching and mentoring opportunities, with a guaranteed five days of learning and five days volunteering per year. A career in Border Force can be extremely rewarding and you will be supported through a training programme of several courses. Your training period is crucial to preparing you for your initial career as a Border Force officer.

Licence Information

A Full Manual Driving Licence is a Desirable requirement for this role. However, if you do not hold a licence this is not a barrier to applying. If you are successful, we would expect employees to obtain this licence at their own expense within a 12-month period. Where a licence is held or once you obtain a licence you will be required to drive official vehicles as part of your role.


You must hold GCSEs at Grade 9-3 (A-D) in Maths and English to be eligible to apply for this role.

Please note that we will also accept equivalent qualifications at the same level achieved from a wide range of formal academic and vocational training providers as determined by Ofqual, including, for example, qualifications obtained in Scotland or some BTEC and higher level NVQs. You must have already been awarded the qualification(s) and must be able to provide your certificate(s) at interview.

If you hold GCSE Grade D or equivalent in Maths and / or English, as part of your apprenticeship and to bring you up to Grade C standard, you must also be willing to complete Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications in either or both of these subjects. To successfully complete these required elements, you will be provided with support from both your line management chain and the apprenticeship provider.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Strengths, Ability and Experience.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to confirm your eligibility providing some basic personal information by 20th October 2021.

After submission of the first stage of your application you will be invited to complete a Civil Service Work Strengths Test. If successful, you will be invited to complete a Customer Service Skills Test. You must pass both tests before you progress to the next stage. Please complete the online tests as soon as possible, the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 20th October 2021. If you fail to complete the online tests before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.

Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the Civil Service Jobs website.

Candidates who pass the tests will then have until 20th October 2021 to submit their full application.

Please note the closing date for applications is 23:55 on 20th October 2021, if you submit an application near to the closing date, the tests must still be completed by is 23:55 on 20th October 2021. If your full application has not been submitted by is 23:55 on 20th October 2021 it will not considered.

You will need to provide the following as part of your application process should you be successful after completing the online tests.

• A written note/brief description detailing your qualifications and employment history within the CV section as set out in the Eligibility Criteria.

• A personal statement (Max Word Limit: 500).

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please note your personal statement should be aligned to providing evidence set out against the following strength-based question:

‘Imagine you are responsible for delivering a service accessed by the public. One day you notice that customers are queuing and are unhappy with the wait. What would you do? What are your reasons for handling it in this way?’

Please ensure that all examples provided in your application are taken directly from your own experience and that you describe the examples in your own words. All applications are screened for plagiarism and copying of examples/answers from internet sources and if any is detected the applications will be withdrawn from the process. Further action, including disciplinary action, may be considered in such cases involving internal candidates. Providing false or misleading information would be contrary to the core values of honesty and integrity expected of all Civil Servants.

Candidates who pass will be invited to attend a Pre-Recorded Video Interview which will be strength-based questions.

Strength based questions seek to find out what people enjoy and when they are at their best. They are less about what they can do. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. It is important that you answer the questions as openly and honestly as you can, thinking about the kind of work that you enjoy doing and the Border Force role you are applying for.

Please note that the strengths being assessed during the Civil Service Work Strengths Test are Problem Solver, Team Player, Explainer, Decisive and Focussed.

Sift and Interview Dates

Sift will take place from 20th October 2021.

Interviews will take place week commencing 1st November 2021.

Due to current Covid-19 guidelines, interviews will be conducted using a video platform. You will receive a link to complete a video interview and we will be asking you to video record your responses to pre-recorded questions. You will have 5 days to complete your interview once you receive the invite.

Please ensure that you read the following guidance prior to completing your interview.

Please see for more information.

Although we would appreciate your co-operation submitting within the 5 days, we will try to exercise flexibility in offering you an alternative date/extension.

Successful candidates will be required to attend an appointment to conduct ID checks before pre-employment checks will begin.

Further Information

For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years if the role requires CTC clearance, 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV. A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice.

Please note that this vacancy consists of several linked adverts for similar roles but in different locations. The references of which are as follows: 149312, 149329, 149328, 149326 and 149327.

If you wish to apply for more than one vacancy, we may sift and interview you only once. Your subsequent application will be automatically marked as ‘Campaign duplicate’ status and your sift and interview scores will automatically be carried across.

Please note If applying for more than one vacancy, you must ensure you enter ALL locations you wish to be considered for in the further location preferences field.

Where posts are open to full and part-time staff. Due to the current business position, part-time opportunities are very limited and cannot be guaranteed.

Reserve lists:

Where we have more successful candidates than roles, or where roles are not currently available, we may place candidates who meet the required standard on a reserve list for up to 12 months.

We will endeavour to offer you one of your preferred locations, therefore please only list locations that you are prepared to work at.

In some circumstances, we may offer you an alternative similar role or different location. You should consider the offer carefully, before accepting. Should you reject an alternative role, you will remain on the reserve list. If you accept an alternative role you will be withdrawn from the reserve list.

Please note there are no guarantees that further vacancies will arise in the locations you originally applied for before your time on the reserve list expires.

Additional Security Check: As well as successfully obtaining UKSV clearance and passing the right to work and pre-employment screening, anyone who applies to work for Border Force will also be subject to additional Border Force specific security checks to determine their suitability to work for the organisation.

Please see the Home Office Recruitment Privacy Information Notice (PIN) for more information on how your details may be shared for the purpose of additional security checks.

Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.

We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are Stonewall top 100 Workplace Equality Employer and a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.

Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.

Transfer Terms: Voluntary.

If you are invited to an interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.

Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.

Any move to the Home Office from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Reasonable Adjustments

If a person with disabilities is at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs

• Complete the “Assistance Required” section in the “Additional Requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you're deaf, a language service professional

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

These roles are included in the pilot phase of this Initiative, which is aimed at encouraging veterans from the armed services into public sector roles.

For more information and eligibility requirements please visit here

Landing page: ""


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

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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Border Force HO Recruitment
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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