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Job description

Job Family: Estates and Information Infrastructure Services

Job Reference Number:

Job Title: Apprentice (Grounds Maintenance)

Department: Estates and Facilities Directorate

Estates Operations

Responsible to: Head Groundsperson (Grounds and Gardens Team)

Garden Manager (Botanic Garden Team)

Grade: Grade 1

Salary range: £17,046

Contract type: Fixed-term (2 years)

Working arrangements: Full-time (five days from seven, primarily Monday to Friday)

Closing date:

Interview date (if known):

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:
  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time) and the option to purchase additional leave
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme
  • Corporate and local discounts
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes
  • Personal and career development
  • And SO much more, with further information available here.


The Department and role purpose

The Estates and Facilities Directorate provides a number of essential services to Durham University and is responsible for managing, maintaining and developing the infrastructure and building fabric of the various campuses, including:
  • maintaining and regularly reviewing a maintenance programme which takes account of short, medium and long term needs of all buildings and University grounds;
  • implementing the works identified and funded within the various maintenance programmes and operating a system for dealing with day-to day requirements, including the provision of an out-of-hours emergency service;
  • providing a professional, technical service to the University for the design, construction and procurement of new buildings and adaptation works to existing buildings;
  • identifying and recording the use of space and advising on ways of increasing space utilisation;
  • property and asset management;
  • acquisition and disposal of built environment related assets;
  • procuring and managing utilities and services;
  • providing postal, delivery and security arrangements and advice to the University; and
  • delivering a wide-range of customer-facing services, including: contract management; estates and facilities relationships management; housekeeping and cleaning, business resilience, event management; reception helpdesk; university retail; business support; health and safety; and management information.

The Apprentice (Grounds Maintenance) will provide gardening trade support to the University's Grounds and Gardens, and Botanic Garden Teams. The post-holder will undertake reactive and planned grounds and gardens maintenance. The role will involve working in and around the estate supporting gardening activities.

This is a learning and development opportunity within a diverse and dynamic environment.

Core responsibilities
  • Complete a defined set of tasks or procedures within the Grounds and Gardens, or Botanic Garden teams, to deliver a responsive grounds maintenance service to stakeholders.
  • May be indirect and/or a direct stakeholder-facing service.
  • Follow instructions from a supervisor to identify what and how to deliver a limited set of tasks or processes.
  • Work independently, and as and when directed, assist team members by stepping-in to provide support.
  • Learn the correct methods and tasks on the job, to deliver the required standards of customer care.
  • Learn and adhere to general health, safety and security procedures within the service area covered by H&SAW guidelines, on the job.
  • Use a range of equipment, tools and resources, digital devices, software and applications where necessary.
  • Communicate with supervisor, team members, other staff, students and visitors in person or using electronic tools and applications.
  • Assist team members to deliver a frontline student, staff or visitor service.


Role responsibilities
  • Learn how to, and deliver physical and virtual services to meet regulatory and statutory guidelines and protocols.
  • Keep physical internal and external environments, buildings and services in a safe and secure working order.
  • Use a range of equipment, tools and resources following certification and supervision to deliver services.
  • Assist team members with the security, safety, maintenance and upkeep of systems, buildings, equipment and facilities.
  • Ensure own work is completed in accordance with risk assessments specific to tasks and environments.
  • Where directed, wear and use protective equipment and clothing to carry out tasks.
  • Be trained in other relevant areas within Estates Operations, so that assistance can be provided to meet business needs
  • Any other reasonable duties.


Specific role requirements
  • To be eligible to apply for this apprenticeship position you must not have obtained a qualification or an apprenticeship at the same or higher level than what will be undertaken as part of this apprenticeship unless this apprenticeship will allow you to acquire substantive new skills and can evidence that the content of this training is materially different from any prior qualification or a previous apprenticeship.
  • In order to fulfil the terms and conditions of the apprenticeship, the post-holder will be required to complete training on a weekly basis towards the appropriate Cskills Award in Gardening and Grounds Maintenance, at Level 2 and Level 3.
  • The post-holder may be required to drive University vehicles, transporting the required equipment to various sites across the University.
  • Working within the Estates operations team will require elements of physical activities and manual handling, including lifting and transporting materials and stock. There will be elements of working at height, working within restricted spaces and where there may be specific regulations and controls.
  • The post-holder may be required to work evenings and weekends, as business demands.


Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for the role, candidates must be able to evidence, in the CV, covering letter, application questions, or interview, each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification (including those listed in the section 'Realising Your Potential Approach').

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

1. A CV.

2. A covering letter.

3. The question matrix as part of the application process.

Please ensure that you submit the documentation listed above or your application will not be considered.

Contact details

For further information, please contact: Dave Profit, [email protected]

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Basic IT skills including use of Microsoft Office
  • Basic numeracy and literacy skills.
  • Experience of working in a team.
  • Ability to manage time in order to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to follow instructions, written or oral, accurately.

  • Desirable Criteria
  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.

  • Realising Your Potential Approach

    Providing Excellent Student Services and Professional Support: providing the best quality service to all our students, customers and stakeholders. Building genuine and long-term relationships, through every day interactions, in order to drive up service standards and to enhance their experience.
  • Actively listening and understanding routine tasks required, clarifying the details where necessary.
  • Summarising basic information clearly and concisely.
  • If a query cannot be resolved personally, listening carefully and recording the detail accurately to identify who to escalate the query to, when required.

  • Embracing Change: adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas.
  • Accepting that change is an integral part of working life.
  • Displaying open mindedness to new ideas and proposals.
  • Demonstrating a willingness to do things differently.

  • Working Together: working co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Applying a wide range of interpersonal skills.
  • Developing effective working relationships with colleagues.
  • Proactively helping one another.
  • Communicating effectively with all.
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