DEFRA – Helping to build a brighter future

The DEFRA Group plays a unique and vital role at the heart of UK life. As one of our colleagues, so will you. From the food we eat to the water we drink and the air we breathe – we exist to protect the environment and help the rural economy thrive.

Our work ranges from supporting the UK’s world-leading food, farming and fishing industries to providing robust defences against natural threats. Whatever your background or specialism, you will find that this is work with a more profound purpose. As we navigate the challenges of delivering ‘A Green Future’, our 25 year plan to improve the Environment within a generation, our focus is on working in a transformative way, and we are embracing every opportunity to become more agile, efficient, focused and innovative than ever before.

Supporting apprentices at DEFRA

Learn how we enable our apprentices to succeed by listening to Michael’s story.

What does working for DEFRA entail?

Working for us promises a once-in-a-generation opportunity to impact on millions of lives, building a bright future for us all. It takes all kinds of people, in all kinds of roles and from all walks of life to fulfil our unique purpose.

The Defra Group is a collection of government agencies and departments, working closely with different partners, industries and communities, across the country. An outline of their different responsibilities is as follows; Natural England aims to protect, improve and encourage people to enjoy their surroundings. The Environment Agency protects and improves our environment by, for example, managing flood risks. The Rural Payments Agency supports agriculture and rural communities to create better places to live. The Animal Plant and Health Agency’s mission is to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of all.. The Marine Management Organisation ensures that marine activities in our seas are carried out in a sustainable way. Lastly, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate is the regulatory authority for veterinary medicine, aiming to protect animal health, public health and the environment. Our responsibilities are as varied and vital as the many lives, natural habitats and industries we protect. To reflect this, our workforce is equally diverse and critical. From Policymakers to Project Managers, from Economists to Scientists, and from Communications Specialists to Commercial Advisors, Defra is home to many talented individuals. Each bring a unique mindset to what they do. Together, we are constantly collaborating to arrive at better solutions for our environment, and the whole of the UK. This makes for truly fascinating work.

Perks and benefits

  • Bonus and reward scheme

  • Flexible working

  • Learning and development

  • Pension

  • Rewards and benefits

  • Wellbeing scheme

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Group

2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF

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Company information




Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF


Environment Agency (EA), Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AH


Natural England (NE), Foss House, Kings Pool 1-2, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PX


Rural Payments Agency (RPA), PO Box 69, Reading, RG1 3YD

Newcastle upon Tyne

Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7YH


Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Woodham Lane, Hew Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KY15 3LS


Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Woodham Lane, Hew Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KY15 3LS

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Developing Digital Skills at DEFRA

My apprenticeship has provided me with great experience. The opportunity to work alongside experienced engineers, on both familiar and new tasks, has been hugely beneficial, and the extra opportunities provided in the form of certifications and training has been brilliant too.

Supporting Women in Leadership at DEFRA

My apprenticeship has enabled me to do exactly what I had hoped for; learn some really interesting things and spend some time looking beyond the day job, really thinking about how I engage with colleagues, what drives me, and what I would like to achieve going forward.
I never thought that an apprenticeship would be for me but it turned out that it very much was.
ICT Technician

University partners

Anglia Ruskin University

East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT

University of Cumbria

Registered Office, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH

University of Exeter

Northcote House, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Keele University

Keele, ST5 5BG

University of Kent

Recruitment and Admissions Office, Registry, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ


At DEFRA, all employees work towards four behaviours. We are ambitious, striving to achieve our goals, innovating and taking risks to get there. We are outward-looking and have the confidence, humility and curiosity to look across and outside out organisations. We are professional and consistently reach high standards, doing our jobs to the best of our ability. We are inclusive and actively ensure a place where everyone thrives and feels part of a community.


Association of Apprentices