Digital Cartographer Apprenticeship FAQs

As a Digital Cartographer apprentice where will I be based?

During your training you will be based at an NIE Networks location. To support your learning and development you will be expected to work at any of our locations across Northern Ireland. Off the job training will take place at one of our training centres, which are currently located in Ballymena, Campsie (Londonderry) and Craigavon. While completing your onsite placements you could potentially be in various locations throughout Northern Ireland

What qualifications do I need to apply for the apprenticeship?

It is essential that, you are 16 years old from the start date and that you hold or expect to achieve 5 GCSE passes at Grade C (or equivalent) including Mathematics, English Language and ICT. Please note, only those candidates who clearly display that they meet the above criteria will be progressed to the next stage of the selection process.  For example, if your qualification is an Essential Skills, you must list the level.  Level 2 would be accepted as an equivalent.

Do I have to study in my own time?

Yes, you will be studying to complete a vocational qualification and also a technical Level 3 qualification (BTEC) which will both require independent study.

What if I already have my BTEC qualification?

This will be reviewed if you are successful.   NIE Networks will consider the level and the units you have completed.  There are certain modules which you may be required to complete as the BTEC is bespoke to NIE Networks.

How many days a week do I go to College?

Generally, for the purposes of achieving the Technical Cert (BTEC) it will be one long day per week, usually a Tuesday.
However, there will be a 15 week period when this will extend to 2 days per week, while achieving the Vocational Qualification.

Where will the various stages of the apprentice recruitment process be held?

Each stage will be held in Ballymena.  Location will be clearly stipulated on your correspondence email.

Can I get an application form posted out or submit a CV?

All applications must be submitted through the online recruitment portal. This is so we can ensure your application is where it needs to be, and will be reviewed by the correct people.

Will I receive notifications on how my application is progressing within the selection process?  

You will receive an on-line acknowledgment as soon as your application has been submitted.
When we close the vacancy we aim to respond to all applicants within 2 weeks.  All candidates receive written notification via email of the outcome of their application.  It’s recommended you check your junk mail filters to make sure you don’t miss any important correspondence.

Do I get travel allowance? Or accommodation allowance?

There are provisions in place; each case will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Do I have to be able to drive?

Our apprentices will be working across Northern Ireland so it would be an essential requirement for them to learn when they are legally able to do so.  It is your responsibility to get yourself to work each day.  

What age do I have to be to apply for the apprenticeship?

You have to be at least 16 years old on starting date.  Those in Year 12 are applicable to apply

Is there an age limit for the apprenticeship?

There is no age limit.  As long as you are over the age of 16 at the start date then you can apply.

Can I change the date of my test etc?

We can review your date based on your circumstances.  However changes should be kept to a minimum.

I am colour blind, can I apply for the apprenticeship?

We may carry out a visual test in relation to the relevant colours critical to our job roles and primarily for your safety.  We have had a few candidates with levels of colour blindness in the past who were still suitable to enter our programme.  It is your responsibility to notify us.

I am dyslexic, can I apply for the apprenticeship and receive help at the testing stage?

Yes, we can accommodate this and provide assistance where applicable, please state this clearly on your application form to allow us to make adjustments. It is your responsibility to make us aware.

Can you give me more information about the practical test?

To be fair to all applicants we can’t give too much away about the practical test but you will get a full briefing about what the test will entail when you arrive.

How does the current recruitment process operate?

The number of stages throughout the recruitment process will be dependent on the volume of applications.  Shortlisting may be determined through the following stages:  
  1. Application form - applicants will have to clearly demonstrate they meet the minimum entry criteria at this stage;
  2. Aptitude test - this stage will assess shortlisted applicants on the following topics: spatial awareness; mental arithmetic; engineering problems; and design problems. The aptitude tests are conducted by an external assessor and individuals will be shortlisted at this stage based on the scores achieved;
  3. Computer skills assessment;
  4. Competency based interview - we will invite shortlisted applicants to interview to see how well they match the essential qualities and personal attributes required for the position.
 If you are unsuccessful at any stage we will contact you via email to notify you.

What is a competency based interview?

Competency based interviewing assesses future performance based on past behaviour. It can give valuable insights into an individual's preferred style of working and help predict behaviour in future situations.

Questions will be asked to draw information required to support the key competencies of the role.

Questions may be worded in the format of “Can you give me an example when…?” or “Tell me about a time when you…”

Responses should be structured to describe a situation or task, the action you took and the end result.


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