Getting a job in manufacturing engineering could be the start of a promising new career. Skilled workers are needed for jobs in trade professions such as welding, fabrication and mechanical engineering. The question is: How do you get into these trades? Where can you do a course or engineering apprenticeship in the East Midlands?
Apprenticeships are the ideal route to learn valuable skills whilst in employment, without the burden of student debt and with the hands-on experience of a real working environment; the prospect is becoming increasingly attractive for employers and employees alike.
By providing a practical way into a profession that is in high demand, an apprenticeship in engineering can increase the prospects of getting into the industry and building a successful career. The perceived gap between formal education and real-world experience on the job is often a sticking point for graduates of traditional universities. Without relevant experience, graduates can often find themselves at a disadvantage.
The route of apprenticeships is often misunderstood but apprenticeships are a real alternative to traditional higher education programmes; apprenticeships are available at many levels from GCSE equivalent up to master’s degree level and therefore provide an excellent progression route for ambitious employees. More importantly, they can give workers the essential experience that employers prioritise. Advantages for employers are having an employee that has experience as well as an understanding of their company’s operational culture and business. For employees, the advantage is not only a qualification in the highly desirable field of engineering but the ability to earn while they learn.
Why engineering manufacturing courses? This type of engineering course can open up a wide variety of opportunities both in the UK and worldwide. Welding is essential in a variety of industries including oil, motorsport, ship building, military occupations, engineering professions and even the emerging field of robotics. The demand for this skill means that qualified welders can travel to work abroad in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Charlie Plummer discusses the effect of his engineering apprenticeship on his career
“I have been offered a work permit in Canada based on my qualification gained through an engineering apprenticeship in Derby” said Charlie Plummer, an East Midlands based engineer. “I would say the big advantage is the practical experience. Many of my friends who went the ‘uni path’ have found their prospects limited due to this lack of experience. The training prepares you for the working world in a beneficial way. I was trained in welding, fabrication and also as a machinist. It can certainly be challenging but ultimately it’s a very worthwhile experience for the doors that it opens. I would certainly recommend considering an apprenticeship to anyone bored with formal academic settings and looking for something different”
With highly experienced welders earning up to £35000, there is no telling where it might take you. Courses in welding, fabrication and engineering in the East Midlands are currently on offer through firms like Canal Engineering. Recently featured as one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, the Nottingham-based company are setting the standard for engineering courses for those in East Midlands and preparing candidates across Nottingham and Derby for jobs in engineering.
How do I start my engineering career today?
But do you need qualifications or experience? For an Intermediate or Level 2 Engineering Apprenticeship there are no formal entry requirements, although those with good grades in English, maths and science are preferred. Progression to Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship or Level 3 follows the successful completion of the Intermediate Apprenticeship. If you are unemployed, there is even a pre-employment preparation course for those aged 19 plus. This 6 week course (held in CEATA’s dedicated Engineering Training Academy) results in an NVQ Level 2 in Performing Manufacturing Operations. There are even a number of vacancies for those who complete the course and show employment potential.
How long does it take? Courses can last anywhere from 1 day for a short course to 4 years to complete the level 2 and level 3 apprenticeships. From here, the sky is the limit. For information on welding, fabrication and mechanical engineering opportunities, or if you are an employer wanting to find out about recruiting and apprentice and the costs involves you can contact the CEATA Training Academy about their current vacancies and training courses in the East Midlands: https://www.ceata.co.uk/