Apprentice Customer Service Assistant

Durham University

Apprentice Customer Service Assistant (
Job Number:
Grade 1:  £20,578 per annum
Fixed Term  Full Time
Contract Duration: 18 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: To be agreed locally by Department
Closing Date
: 21-Jun-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University 

At Durham University, we are proud of our people, because they are at the heart of our globally outstanding institution, which is a key part of our local community.  We inspire our people to do extraordinary things and we invite you to join our fantastic team.  

Across the University, we have a huge variety of roles and responsibilities, which together make us one large and successful community. Whether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer.  

At the University we promote and actively champion equality, diversity and inclusion.  It is crucial that everyone can be themselves and can flourish in an environment where everyone respects each other and is treated fairly. We want our people and wider community to feel happy, secure and proud to be a part of Durham. We are looking for the same values in you.   

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.  For more information on our EDI strategy and values, click here


The Role and Department   

The Customer Services Team is part of University Library and Collections. We provide all front-line (face to face and virtual) customer, visitor and enquiry services across our department. This includes visitor services at our museums and user services in our Libraries and study spaces, including 24/7 term-time opening. 

As an Apprentice Customer Services Assistant, you will play a vital role in delivering a high quality experience to our customers. Work can include engaging with customers in a reception role, through to shelving returned library materials; processing new books to moving materials between sites. The role is key in maintaining an excellent work and study environment, conducting furniture checks, ensuring the replenishment of multi-functional devices and keeping the buildings tidy and safe for our customers.

As this is a learning and development role, the post holder is expected to be willing and passionate about growing their knowledge within the sector, whilst striving towards their qualification. 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 Customer Service Level Two qualification with a local provider.

Customer Services Assistants work Monday to Sunday, working early morning, day and evening shifts as part of a standard rota, covering between 7.45am and 10pm, including Bank Holidays at any of our library and collections sites. Current shift patterns for this post include one weekend shift and up to three evening shifts per week. Part time roles could be worked over 5 days.

Library work involves considerable manual handling and physical activity, for example: packing and lifting books, lifting boxes, and pushing trolleys. Appropriate training will be provided.

This is a fixed term role due to end on 1st February 2025.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description. 

 Working at Durham  

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:  

  • Pro rata 27 Days annual leave per year (in additional to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year), a total of 39 days
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies. 
  • Discounts via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.  
  • On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.  
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities. 
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers)  
  • If you are keen on advancing in your role or career, we have a genuine passion for developing our colleagues  from qualifications, to IT skills, courses and apprenticeships. 
  • Generous pension schemes.  


What you need to demonstrate when you apply

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills and experience you have which would make you right for this role including:  

1.      Good spoken and written communication skills. 

2.      Basic digital skills including the ability to use the internet and email, as well as the ability to learn new digital skills.   

3.      Basic numeracy and literacy skills (Functional skills is a requirement if you do not hold grades 4 or above in Maths and English).

4.      Ability to, and experience of working in a team.

5.      Ability to, and experience of, managing time to meet deadlines. 

6.      Ability to follow instructions, spoken or written, accurately.   

7.      Flexible approach to working patterns which will include commitment to early morning, evening and weekend working as the University demands.

8.      The post-holder will be required to complete training towards the Customer Service Level Two apprenticeship with a registered provider.


How to Apply   

We prefer to receive applications online.  When you apply you need to submit a statement that tells us your skills and experience, and gives examples of how you meet the criteria listed above. 

We will update you about 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 make sure you have not missed any of our updates.  


Who to contact for more information

If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, or if you are struggling to complete the application process, Katharine Davidson-Brown, Library Customer Services Manager would be happy to speak to you. [email protected]  


Typical Role Requirements   

Here are the kind of activities that you’ll be asked to undertake and ways in which you’ll be expected to operate.

 Service Delivery

  • Provide an excellent service to our students, your colleagues and anyone else you come across as part of your role by carrying out your tasks using the relevant procedures (which we will provide training for).
  • Look after yourself and others by following health and safety regulations, including correctly wearing any protective clothing or equipment provided and being aware of any hazards.
  • Learn how to use everyday equipment and tools -= from more experienced colleagues.
  • Follow instructions from more experienced colleagues to deliver set tasks.
  • Help check and monitor stock controls.



  • Help and cooperate with the rest of your team.
  • Support other team members to carry out their tasks when asked.
  • Help colleagues maintain an excellent work and study environment.
  •  Bring any problems to the attention of more senior colleagues.



  • Respond to straightforward requests for information from students, your colleagues and anyone else you come across as part of your role
  • Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.
  • Use digital devices and apps (such as email) to communicate with students, your colleagues and anyone else you come across as part of your role.
  • Complete necessary skills training to deliver services and complete tasks
  • Any other reasonable duties. 


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 Privacy Notices – Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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