Guidance - For Apprentices

Why do an Engineering Apprenticeship?

The engineering and manufacturing sectors have an aging workforce, a workforce that will be looking to retire in the next 10 to 15 years. If the current wealth of experience and skills leave the industry, without being replaced, there will be a major skills requirement across an enormous variety of roles.

Because an apprenticeship now provides a route into so many different pathways and higher education, there has never been a better time to consider an apprenticeship with the AMRC Training Centre.

Most people, young and old, perceive engineering and manufacturing to be a dirty environment, one that isn’t suitable for females and one that doesn’t offer career sustainability. This is not the case anymore, most working areas are as clean as office environments and the engineering and manufacturing sectors are seen as one of the most positive areas to stimulate UK growth.

As an apprentice you will have the opportunity to work in these areas and develop your skills to enable you to progress further in your chosen career, once you have completed your apprenticeship. It will give you the opportunity to work in some of the world’s most innovative industries, such as aerospace, automotive and low-carbon energy. You will be working alongside experienced team members who have a vast range of skills and knowledge in the industry.

There is no set rate of pay for apprentices. Your salary will vary with different employers. However, all employed apprentices must receive an apprentice national minimum wage which is reviewed by government annually. In practice, most companies pay their apprentices more than the minimum national average. Quite often this can be up to £11,000, depending on the size of the company.

As your skills develop your pay will increase accordingly. Statistics show that over the course of their career, young people starting with an apprenticeship can earn on average £100,000 more than those without.*

What you’ll be doing

This will depend on your employer. Employers vary in size from small businesses to large national and even international companies.

For this purpose we have different pathways (and are currently developing more) to meet the needs of the employers; this is just one example:

Year 1

This will be based in the AMRC Training Centre.

During this time you will be based in the workshops. You will:

  • Learn new skills
  • Complete Employment Rights and Responsibilities - Level 2 qualification
  • PLTS – PersonalLlearning and Thinking Skills – Level 2 qualification
  • Learn about health and safety that is relevant to your area and wider areas of the workplace
  • PEO/PMO accredited skills disciplines
  • First year of the Diploma - Technical Certificate
  • Master classes in production quality, Business Improvement Techniques and Inspection techniques
  • Possible outward bounds

Years 2 & 3

You will be with your employer. During this time you’ll constantly be learning new skills and put the skills that you have learnt already whilst at the Training Centre into practice and start to become a specialist in your chosen area.

At each stage of the programme you will learn how to do everything correctly and safely from the beginning.

As your skills and knowledge increase, you'll be given more demanding, challenging and rewarding tasks. This is how you achieve the NVQ competency part of the apprenticeship.

These skills are vital to your apprenticeship and you’ll need to record what you’ve completed and achieved in your qualifications portfolio to prove you are competent in your chosen trade. You may have to do some of this at home, so you’ll quickly learn to balance your commitments.

It'll all be worth it in the end, once you achieve a recognised qualification that sets you up for your future career in engineering.

*Source - A cost-benefit analysis of apprenticeships and other vocational qualifications, University of Sheffield, 2007.

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