For many young people, going to university may not be an option that they relish. As an alternative to completing “A’ Levels and/or a university degree, choosing an apprenticeship can mean that a young person is, by age 21, already earning and has gained several years of real world experience. And all without being saddled with tuition fee debt.
What are the prospects within Heritage Engineering?
Around 35,000 people are employed full- or part-time in the heritage engineering sector. Research shows that the workforce is ageing while the sector continues to grow. The strongest sector, that of classic vehicle restoration has an estimated 1,000 employees per year requirement of which an estimated 200 places per year are expected to come from apprenticeships.
The industry is actively recruiting and encouraging apprenticeships to fill the skills gap. Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships are at Level 3 (academically equivalent to ‘A’ levels) and produce fully-skilled technicians. After completing their apprenticeship, technicians are encouraged to apply for professional recognition at the Eng. Tech. level with the appropriate professional body (e.g. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers) which encourages continuing professional development.
How does an apprenticeship work?
Apprentices are full-time employees with an employment contract, paid holidays and a minimum wage. As well as gaining work experience and training with their employer, apprentices must receive 20% off-the-job training with an outside training provider or college. This can either be on day-release (e.g. one day per week) or on block-release where training is provided often a week at a time in blocks.
The apprenticeship typically takes around three years to complete. During that time, apprentices are supported throughout their programme of training by qualified tutors and assessors who help with mentoring and ensuring appropriate achievement levels are being maintained.