York College

Industry Insights

Sheet metal workers

Up to £30,000

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Metal making and treating process operatives

Up to £24,000

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Metal working production and maintenance fitters

Up to £36,000

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Course Length

48 months,

Role Profile

The broad purpose of the occupation is to carry out metal fabrication work using rolled steel joists, columns, channels, steel plate and metal sheet etc. Fabricators use a large range of metals including steel, aluminium and titanium at a range of thicknesses from 0.5mm up to over 20mm. The size and weight of the fabrications can range from very small components to huge structures that require several cranes to manipulate. In their daily work, fabricators interact with planners, supervisors, inspectors, designers, welders, pipefitters, fitters, machinists, riggers, steel erectors, stores personnel, painters and many others involved in manufacturing, production, maintenance and repair.

Typical Job roles

Metal Fabricators work includes manufacturing bridges, oil rigs, ships, petro-chemical installations, cranes, platforms, aircraft, automotive and machinery parts, sheet metal enclosures, equipment supports and anything that can be fabricated out of metal.

Entry Requirements

To start the course you must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week. You should have as a minimum 5 GCSEs or equivalent at grade C/4 or above, including GCSE Maths (higher) at grade 5 or above GCSE English grade 4/C or above and also a science or technical subject at grade 4/C or above.

To ensure that the apprenticeship standard and pathway is appropriate for the job role, both the employer and apprentice will have a consultation with the Engineering Department prior to enrolment.  A bespoke training plan will be created for apprentices with any prior engineering qualifications.

Students with international qualifications will need to have them converted, for which there will be a cost, through the national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills (NARIC) website. This is required to confirm they are comparable to UK qualifications at the start of the programme in readiness for gateway and the end point assessment.


EAL Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (10 unit Performing Engineering Operations)
BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering

Method of Delivery

A flexible model of delivery will be undertaken based on the employer’s needs e.g. Apprentices attend College 2 days per week for two years or 1 day per week for 4 years and work for their employer for the rest of the time, or attend College on a one year full time basis then work with their employer full time. You will build a portfolio of competence towards the End Point Assessment during the Apprenticeship. Assessor visits will take place at regular intervals throughout the apprenticeship.

End Point Assessment

Successful achievement of the end-point assessment will lead to final certification of the apprenticeship. The assessment, with an independent assessor, will comprise of:

  • Practical observation – to assess the apprentice’s application of skills within the apprentice’s place of work or in a suitable environment away from the workplace (e.g. in a centre approved by the EPAO)
  • Professional discussion – to holistically assess knowledge, skills and behaviours across the standard and will be informed by portfolio of evidence

Career Progression

This standard has professional recognition:

Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Engineering Technician
Institution of Engineering and Technology - Engineering Technician
Royal Aeronautical Society – Engineering Technician


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