Prospects have reported that 5.5 million people work in engineering in the UK, accounting for 18% of all UK employment. This is a growing industry due to the need for talented, skilled young people who are passionate and committed to innovating for our future.
Engineering is a demanding and challenging career that will also be very rewarding, allowing those who choose to pursue an engineering career the opportunity to make a huge difference to individuals and the world. The role of an engineer is to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems across the globe; from climate change to driving efficiencies in healthcare.
Types of Engineering Apprenticeships
Different engineers will specialise in different types of engineering, each requiring a different knowledge but a similar skillset. Types of engineering include; electrical, electronic, mechanical, civil, chemical, aerospace, agriculture, biomedical, computer, environmental, robotics and many more.
As a generic knowledge base, all engineering types will require a good understanding of physics and mathematics. In addition to this, engineers are required to have a high level of problem solving, teamwork and communication skills.
Levels of Engineering Apprenticeships
In the UK, the main levels of apprenticeships across all sectors are:
- Level 2 - Intermediate - equivalent to GCSEs
- Level 3 - Advanced - equivalent to A Levels or Level 3 Btec courses
- Level 4/5 - Higher - equivalent to HNC/HND
- Level 6/7 - Degree - equivalent to bachelors/masters
You can enter an apprenticeship at any one of these levels BUT you have to meet the entry requirements stated by the company and training provider. For example, if you are applying for a Level 3 Advanced apprenticeship, it is likely that you will need to have a number of passes (grade 4 or above) at Level 2 (GCSE).
Types of Employers
We are fortunate in the UK to have lots of large engineering companies who employ people via apprenticeship programmes. This helps to make the industry more accessible to those who do not wish to go to university. Here are some examples of engineering employers, click on them to read more:
How to find an Engineering Apprenticeship
You can use the Not Going to Uni opportunity search to locate and apply for Engineering Apprenticeships. Down the left hand side, you can use the “sector” filter to select “Engineering and Energy”. This will then show you all the current opportunities within this sector.
Don’t forget, you can also use offline methods to find an apprenticeship opportunity. This means going to local job fairs, speaking to employers and asking friends/family if they are aware of any opportunities you could apply to.
How to prepare for an Engineering Apprenticeship
Here are some great examples of things employers would love to see on your CV when you apply for an engineering apprenticeship:
- Work Experience
- Virtual Work Experience
- Taking part in opportunities to build key skills like teamwork, communication and problem solving through activities inside and outside of school
- Attending talks with employers within the engineering industry to learn more about the industry and what will be expected of you as an engineer
- A strong ability in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and/or maths)