Course Information

Who is the course for?

This Apprenticeship is for anyone who is looking for a career in the water utilities industry. Employers value the practical skills that an Apprenticeship will provide and view this as an important route to bring new talent into their workforce.

Apprentices will work towards a Level 2 Diploma which will give them first-hand experience in mainlaying, repair and maintenance and the potential to move into a permanent role at the end of the Apprenticeship.

Candidates are required to have secured an Apprenticeship with an employer to attend this course.

For experienced workers, there are elements of the qualification which can be delivered in separate units. These can be completed through the OSAT route.

What does the course involve?

The course is made up of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practicals. There are 14 units altogether (these are mandatory to pass the NVQ). These units are:

  • Understanding employment rights and responsibilities in the energy and utility sector
  • Understanding mainlaying of ductile iron pipes
  • Understanding the mainlaying of plastic pipe materials
  • Understanding mainlaying: butt fusion of polyethylene pipes
  • Understanding mainlaying: electrofusion of polyethylene pipes
  • Understanding how to carry out main repairs
  • Understanding how to carry out alterations to existing mains
  • Understanding the installation of polyethylene service pipes
  • Understanding the installation of new copper service pipe
  • Understanding how to make service pipe connections, under pressure, using dual spindle machines
  • Understanding how to make service pipe connections, under pressure, using single spindle machines
  • Understanding electrofusion jointing for polyethylene pipes and ferrules in servicelaying
  • Understanding the repair and modification of service pipe
  • Understanding the installation of water meters and proprietary boundary box systems

Bolt-on units are available to meet the employer’s business needs at an additional cost.

These are:

  • Abrasive Wheels
  • Cable Detection
  • Mini Digger
  • Dumper
  • Wacker Plate and Trench Rammer. 

Depending on English and Maths qualifications learners may also need to study functional skills alongside the Apprenticeship.

What makes this course special?

The College has excellent links with large water utility companies including Wessex Water and Clancy Docwra, both of whom recruit an annual intake of apprentices.

80% of the course takes place in a specialist realistic working area at the College’s Construction Skills and Innovation Centre in Cannington which was developed in partnership with Wessex Water in order to provide a safe training environment which closely replicates real life working situations within the water industry. The other 20% is completed in the workplace.

The Apprenticeship also includes trips to sewage treatment works and fresh water treatment works as well as visits from industry experts. All tools and equipment used on the programme are industry standard thereby ensuring apprentices are trained on the kit they will use on site.

Entry Requirements

GCSEs in the A* – E or 9 - 3 range or equivalent. Learners will also need to complete an initial assessment at College, which will help us guide learners to the most appropriate programme to meet their needs.

What are the assessment methods?

  • Written examination
  • Practical assessment
  • Written coursework
  • Presentations
  • Portfolio

How long is the course?

The Apprenticeship ends when all of the necessary components of the course have beencompleted. This course typically lasts for 18 months to two years.

What are the College attendance requirements?

The knowledge qualification is delivered via six blocks of two weeks at College approximately every eight weeks.

Residential accommodation, food and transport is provided by the employer where appropriate. Outside of their College attendance apprentices will be onsite with their employer gaining experience and learning practical skills on the job. During the two week blocks, College days are Monday to Friday, from 9am – 4.30pm.

Awarding Body


Further Information