Plant Health Seed Inspectors - Apprenticeship - Birmingham Airport

During your apprenticeship you’ll gain knowledge and skills through the formal elements of the apprenticeship and through our own ‘in-house’ technical training.

You will learn how to:
  • Conduct the statutory inspection of imported plants, planting material and plant produce to check for the presence of quarantine pests and diseases
  • Carry out the examination and certification of plants and planting material for export in accordance with the importing country’s requirements, including the provision of advice to exporters on the requirements
  • Undertake crop surveys and soil sampling to prevent the spread of notifiable plant pests and diseases
  • Carry out enforcement checks and enforce regulation where necessary
  • Work with laboratories pending diagnosis, where the presence of quarantine pest or disease is suspected
  • Liaise with various regulatory bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, UK Border Agency, Port Health and Animal Health authorities
  • Undertake related administrative duties in accordance with standard operating procedures and agency guidelines and time frames.
(The job description for a fully qualified Plant Health Inspector is included as an attachment to this advert)
Responsibilities The Apprenticeship
Within the role you will undertake a two year apprenticeship in Regulatory Compliance. This is a Level 4 apprenticeship which is the equivalent of a first year undergraduate degree.
It will be delivered by an external Training Provider through a combination of remote or face-to-face workshops, virtual tuition and e-learning and throughout the programme you will receive 20% of your contracted hours to focus on your apprenticeship training.
You’ll be part of a larger apprentice community within the Defra Group and will be supported by the Training Provider, your line manager, and colleagues throughout the apprenticeship.
Full details about the apprenticeship programme are included in the Candidate Pack. Please read the information carefully as to be eligible for these roles you must meet the criteria for apprenticeship funding.

Person Specification:
You don’t need to have any previous experience but we are looking for someone with an interest in horticulture and who is analytical and confident using data. Being able to interpret and analyse data is important.
You will work as part of a Team and have an office base but primarily you will be ‘out and about’ rather than being confined to an office environment.
Successful candidates will need a full driving licence and independent access to a car. This is an infield role where work locations are not always accessible through public transport and equipment for the role will need to be transported.
(If you do not possess a full licence at the time of your application any offer of employment will be conditional upon you obtaining this no later than 3 months after initial start date).

There is significant interaction with people involved in the horticultural industry and with plant and seed importers, so you will need to have confidence talking to people face to face and on the phone. In enforcement situation this can be difficult sometimes, so you must be able to ‘stand your ground’ if necessary.
Depending on location you may be required to work in a shift pattern. This pattern can be early morning or a late evening shift and can span over weekends and public holidays. If the post is shift based an allowance is payable. This is currently 12.5%.
If you are successful you will be given the opportunity to discuss your working arrangements with your new manager prior to the issue of a final job offer.

Qualifications
The following qualifications (or their equivalent) are required:
  • GCSE English and Maths (Grade A-C/4-9); PLUS
  • Minimum of 2 x A level qualifications to include Biology or a related science*; OR
  • NVQ Level 3 in horticulture or science; OR
  • City & Guilds/RHS level 3 qualifications in Horticulture or Science; OR
  • BTEC level 3 including Science and other related subject
  • For example: environmental science, environmental studies, environmental technology, chemistry or physical science
Licences
Full Driving licence (evidence to be provided at interview)
(If you do not possess a full licence at the time of your application any offer of employment will be conditional upon you obtaining this no later than 3 months after initial start date).
Qualifications
The following qualifications (or their equivalent) are required:
  • GCSE English and Maths (Grade A-C/4-9); PLUS
  • Minimum of 2 x A level qualifications to include Biology or a related science*; OR
  • NVQ Level 3 in horticulture or science; OR
  • City & Guilds/RHS level 3 qualifications in Horticulture or Science; OR
  • BTEC level 3 including Science and other related subject
  • For example: environmental science, environmental studies, environmental technology, chemistry or physical science
Behaviours

We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Benefits

  • A Civil Service pension

Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

  • You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK

  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently said that “the biggest difference between public and private sectors remains the value of employer contributions to public service pensions. These are much more generous in the public sector than in the private sector”

  • If you have accrued pension rights in another pension scheme, you may be eligible to transfer these rights into the Civil Service Pension Scheme

  • Contributory pension (worth 20-22% of salary)

  • Learning and development tailored to your role

  • An environment with flexible working options

  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity