Hiring an engineering apprentice
If you work in engineering, you’re probably familiar with apprenticeships.
You may have even started out as an apprentice yourself. Apprenticeships are an ideal way for budding engineers to kickstart their career without going to university. They also attract recruits who are hands-on, highly motivated and quick to learn, so they’re a great option if you’re recruiting too – especially if you pay the apprenticeship levy.
The thing is, apprenticeships have changed a lot recently. They’re not just for school-leavers anymore, there’s a huge range of engineering apprenticeships available at all levels in all sectors – from aerospace to automotive; from construction to communication.
There are 3 levels of engineering apprenticeship: intermediate, advanced and higher.
If you’re looking for entry-level staff to work up the ranks, you’ll need to hire an intermediate apprentice. This is the first step apprentices take into the world of engineering, so they’ll need to be closely monitored by their mentor throughout the programme. Intermediate apprenticeships usually take 2 years to complete. There are lots of frameworks and standards available across all fields – take a look here.
Advanced apprentices are ready to take their career to the next level. If you work in a specialist field, or need someone who already knows all the basics, an advanced apprenticeship is a great option. You’ll help your apprentice hone their skills, and get a talented employee, fresh ideas and bright enthusiasm in return. Advanced courses usually take 4 years to complete – but if you invest the right time and knowledge, these apprentices will be the future leaders of your business.
People usually complete higher apprenticeships after A levels or an advanced apprenticeship, so they’re ideal for higher technicians or senior engineers. You can use them to upskill existing staff or attract high-level recruits to fill your skills gap.
Higher apprenticeships usually take 3-4 years to complete, so you’ll have to provide specialist training throughout their course. Degree apprentices will spend time studying at university and be awarded a nationally recognised degree when they complete their apprenticeship.
As an employer, you have 2 options – to deliver in-house or work with a training provider. If you choose to deliver in-house, you’ll have to apply to become an employer-provider via the RoATP. It’s a slightly more complicated route, but it means you can deliver training in a way that suits you.
If you work with a training provider, they’ll help you support your apprentice and manage the whole apprenticeship process. It’s a much more manageable option – especially if your provider uses a learning software. With a software like OneFile, you’ll have access to your learners’ portflolios, progress charts and reports, so you can take an active role and manage their training effectively.
Download our guide to find out how you can use OneFile to deliver and manage engineering apprenticeships. We’ll explain how it works, how it can benefit your business and what other employers think.