Where is the course delivered?
- Bridgwater Centre
Who is the course for?
Engineering remains one of the UK’s most important industries, offering a diverse range of challenging employment opportunities, from tool making to aircraft fitting and from machine maintenance to water treatment services.
Companies in Somerset have recognised that in order to compete in today’s competitive market, they must not only keep up with rapidly changing technology, but also make sure that their workforce is well qualified and highly skilled. Local employers think that there will be opportunities in particular for people with production and mechanical engineering skills.
Bridgwater College has over 40 years experience in engineering apprentice training and remains the leader in this field.
If you are interested in engineering and the challenge of work, but want to keep learning in a practical way, then this course is for you. You will need to be able to follow instructions and pay close attention to detail, as well as being able to use mathematics.
What does the course involve?
In the first year all apprentices (both level 2 and level 3) attend College for two days a week to do a basic engineering course, which includes using a range of precision engineering machinery, welding equipment and Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems. This NVQ2 qualification is equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grade A* to C. There will be a further half day a week required if Functional Skills need to be taken.
For the Intermediate (Level 2) Apprenticeship you will then attend College for one day a week in year 2 to obtain a Level 2 Technical Certificate.You will work with your employer for the other four days a week.
For the Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeship you will attend College one day a week in both years 2 and 3 to study for a City & Guilds or BTEC qualification as your Technical Certificate and work with an employer for four days a week. An Assessor will visit you in the workplace to help you through your NVQ3 (which is equivalent to 2 A levels) and you will build up a portfolio of evidence to show the type of work you have been doing. You will then be specialising in one of the following according to your job requirements:
- Welding and fabrication
- Maintenance (Mechanical or Electrical)
- Technical Support
You should be educated to GCSE level and you may need to complete an initial assessment at College, which will help us guide you to the most appropriate programme to meet your needs. If you do not have a job, the College may be able to help you find one. You will be employed and paid a wage.
What are the assessment methods?
There are no exams with NVQs. You are assessed on your knowledge and skills on an on-going basis and will have to demonstrate that you can meet the required standards throughout your training. There will however be examinations for the additional qualifications, such as City & Guilds or BTEC Technical Certificates and Functional Skills (if required).
As an Apprentice you will have an allocated Training Officer who will oversee your training at work and at College. Your Training Officer will visit you at least once every three months to review your progress and help you with any problems you might have.
How long is the course?
The Apprenticeship ends when you have completed all of the necessary components of the course. This can take between two and four years. To a certain extent, the pace of your progress will depend on you!
What are the progression options?
The Apprenticeship is widely recognised in the employment market and fully qualified engineers are always in demand, both home and abroad, and are often among the top earners. NVQs can also count towards university entrance for Degree level qualifications. You could progress to a National Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering or Electrical/ Electronic Engineering, or an HNC in Mechatronics/ HND in Manufacturing Engineering.