Apprenticeships have been around for a long time. For any prospective trainee with a clear idea of what career path they wish to pursue, they have always been worth serious consideration. Whether you’re looking at training post-16 or degree level qualifications, there’s an apprenticeship programme out there for you. Apprenticeships combine the best of all worlds: work-based study, on-the-job training, pay in your pocket and no training or tuition fee costs as these are met by your employer. With training costs so high and tuition fees through the roof, if you have a practical outlook on life and love to design, create, construct or improve products across multitudinous disciplines from aircraft maintenance, domestic plumbing and heating, environmental sustainability to software development and vehicle technology, then an engineering apprenticeship may well be the right route for you.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the engineering apprenticeships out there and which one might be your ideal fit.
Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship
An Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship is an option for anyone post-16 with 5 GCSEs or equivalent at grade 9 – 4 (formerly A* – C). GCSEs must include Maths, English and Science with physics being a bonus. An Advanced Level Apprenticeship enables you to study at NVQ Level 3 whilst developing your engineering skills in the workplace. Depending on your training provider, you will take either a diploma, “A” levels or Scottish Highers in maths, physics or engineering, opening the possibility of further ensuant study in engineering at degree level if you so wish.
If you don’t quite hit the GCSE bar for an Advanced Apprenticeship, all is not lost as the option remains for a traineeship level 2 qualification or an Intermediate Engineering Apprenticeship. An Intermediate Apprenticeship takes around two years to complete and successful completion will open the route to an Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship if you choose to specialise more in your chosen field later on.
Higher and Degree Apprenticeships
Higher or Degree Level Engineering Apprenticeships are an alternative route to a university degree qualification and, as with Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships, entail a combination of working and studying at the same time. Tuition fees are paid for by your employer and you gain hands-on experience during your studying and training whilst receiving a salary each month. With engineering apprenticeship pay coming in substantially more across the board than other apprenticeships schemes out there, it’s an option not to be sniffed at. That said, expectations are high: you’re studying at university level whilst in almost full-time employment with your apprenticeship employer so it’s not a choice for the faint-hearted!
Entry requirements vary from employer to employer but studying maths and a relevant STEM subject at “A” level or equivalent certainly help. Prospective apprenticeship providers will be looking at a minimum of three “C” grades at “A” level or equivalent as they need to be confident both in your academic and practical engineering potential.
But it’s not just exam qualifications that matter. Alongside the required grades, employers will want to see other relevant wider skills in applications or at interview: teamwork, creativity, communication, conscientiousness, technical and practical skills to name but a few. Needless to say, you’ll need to exhibit a proven interest in and passion for engineering too. So, do your homework before applying for any apprenticeship and sell yourself honestly and well.
Benefits for Employers
And of course, it’s not just apprentices who benefit from this training route, employers benefit too. A robust application and interview process will help you as an employer to select the trainee or trainees most ideally suited to a role in your business where they will learn and grow “on the job”. As the employer, you get to share personal expertise and to mould and shape the trainee to be the best they possibly can be not just for you and your business but also for them in their chosen field. Financial outlay in terms of pay is minimal at the outset but you will be supporting your trainee on their journey towards a career for life. And in the process, you may well discover you have found a hard-working, knowledgeable, committed and loyal employee who, with the years, will prove an absolute bonus to your business.
Learn More with BMR Solutions
Employer or potential trainee, engineering apprenticeships are here to stay. Figures recently released through Engineering UK suggest a need for 186,000 new engineers each year until 2024. Against such a backdrop, it’s easy to see that engineering is a career very much in demand.
Whether you’re looking at an Intermediate, Advanced, Higher/Degree Apprenticeship, an Engineering Apprenticeship will enable you to develop multiple skills across a vast arena of engineering disciplines. You’ll gain invaluable experience by learning challenging engineering theory and applying it on the job. You’ll be supported throughout by experienced mentors and managers who will both want and expect the very best for you as they have invested so much in you already. As an official apprentice engineer, you’ll also gain free membership of Professional Engineering Institutions such as the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET). Membership of such institutions is the first step to achieving professional registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech), ICT Technician (ICTTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), or Chartered Engineer (CEng), all of which are recognised professional qualifications across the world, testifying to your level of skills, competence, knowledge and expertise. Additionally, these institutions provide all kinds of resources including careers advice, study resources, newsletters and technical publications. In some cases, they can even provide a mentor outside your workplace.
BMR Solutions is the home of the best engineering and technical jobs across Bristol and the whole of the South West. We work with the very best companies providing unrivalled jobs within the engineering and manufacturing sectors. For the latest industry news and updates along with top spec engineering vacancies on our books, please don’t hesitate to get in touch