Employment Opportunities

Engineering Apprenticeships

Engineering apprenticeships usually follow a 2 year programme for Intermediate Apprenticeships and a 3-4 year programme for Advanced Apprenticeship.

Engineering covers a wide range of careers from building and transport to cosmetics.  Engineers work in all kinds of environments, from offices to getting ‘down and dirty’.  They can influence every aspect of modern life, from designing and manufacturing your iPod to ensuring that your satellite dish can transfer images to your television.

Craft engineering apprenticeships

Below are some of the different types of CRAFT engineering apprenticeships:

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical fitters help to build or repair machinery that can make things.  Producing and/or fitting parts and equipment together by using drawings or actually finding out the size of components and how they fit.

Pipefitting/Fabrication & Welding
Sheet metal workers change flat sheets of metal into different shapes.  They often need to use heavy equipment and cranes in their jobs.   Welders use intense heat to join metals together and pipe fitters make piping for carrying gases and liquids.

Electrical Engineering & Electronics
Maintenance electricians repair and maintain all electrical equipment used in a factory. Electrical fitters install electrical equipment such as switches and fuse boxes, connecting and fitting wires correctly.  Electronics involve working with circuits used in electronically controlled equipment and then checking that everything is working properly.

Machining & Toolmaking
Machinists use various tools to shape metal to a high level of accuracy.  Turners use lathes that spin pieces of metal at high speeds.  Cutting tools are held against the material to shave metal from the surface and produce the required shape.  Milling is a process that cuts metal from an object held by a type of clamp, using a revolving cutter.  A grinding machine is used to finish work to exactly the correct size.  Toolmaking involves making all the special equipment used to produce shaped components ie car parts.

Technician Engineering apprenticeships

Below are some of the different types of TECHNICIAN Engineering apprenticeships:

Manufacturing Engineering
These mostly work in industries which produce things.  Involved in the design, build or maintenance of systems in factories, including automated and computer controlled machines.  An engineer will look at how the parts will be made and assembled, and how the finished article will be tested ie a sheet of metal to a car door.

CAD/Design Engineering
CAD operators are skilled users of Computer Aided Design systems.  They may be involved from start to finish on a specific project or work on technical aspects of a product.  Most manufacturing companies work with 2D or 3D modelling CAD systems.

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineers are involved in the design, supply, operation and performance of complex technologies, including robots, production lines, construction machinery and even aircraft.  Their work is creative, varied, challenging and responsible; it is also well rewarded and respected within the industry.

Quality/Test Engineering
These will liaise with customers and suppliers to ensure that the product meets expected standards.  They may define the test environment of a product, which may include electronic, electrical or mechanical characteristics, or sometimes a mixture of all three.

The Engineering apprenticeship programme

The following outlines the engineering apprenticeship programme for the majority of our engineers.  Please note some learners may follow individual routes which would be agreed before starting the programme between you, your employer and HWGTA.

Year One
Attend HWGTA’s training centre where you will be trained by qualified instructors for 4 days per week to complete a Performing Engineering Operations Level 2 NVQ.  The NVQ is made up of units, some mandatory and some optional.  To gain the NVQ an apprentice must collect a range of evidence from within the Training Centre to prove that they are competent in the work needed for each unit.

On the 5th day you will attend day release to work towards achieving a Technical Certificate in your specialised area; this could be a City & Guilds or BTec ND qualification.   The venue of this training may be at HGTA, Herefordshire College of Technology, Worcestershire College of Technology or any other local training provider that has been agreed by you, your company and HWGTA.

Also during the 1st year you will begin Key/Functional Skills.  These are qualifications which ensure that you have appropriate levels of IT, numeracy and literacy as well as other essential attributes to work within an engineering environment.  If you have GCSEs (grade C or above) in English, Maths and ICT you may be exempt from some corresponding key/functional skill.

A team building, self development residential week is held in May each year.  The week is developed around numerous activities such as kayaking, caving, climbing, orienteering, search and rescues and a mountain expedition, to enable apprentices to develop their confidence, trust, teamwork, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.

Finally, you will attend a three day First Aid at Work course during the 1st year of the apprenticeship.  This is not a mandatory qualification for you and will be free of charge.

Year Two – Year Four
You will attend your company for 4 days per week, and the 5th day you will continue with your Technical Certificate.  You will be visited approximately one day per month in your workplace by your assigned Training Officer.  This person will check on your welfare and how you are progressing in your company and with your Technical Certificate.  They may also assess you whilst you complete your NVQ Level 3, where you will gather evidence from your workplace to prove that you are competent in your specialised engineering field.