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Mechanical engineering apprenticeships: England and Wales overview

It is difficult to imagine a world without mechanical engineers. Many sectors of modern life require the services of mechanical engineers from design and construction to research and development. If you are good with your hands and have an excellent head for figures and shapes, mechanical engineering apprenticeships in England and Wales might be a good launchpad to a well-paying career in the sciences.

Mechanical engineering roles

Mechanical engineering technicians are at the heart of modern technology. Their roles can be found in virtually every sector of modern industries, including design, construction, repair and maintenance, research and development and installations and operation.

The research and development side of a career in mechanical engineering, for example, would entail investigating and testing solutions for problems or processes of machinery.

The design side would entail using computer aided design (CAD) software to create new designs and or modify existing ones, while the construction, installation and operation side would involve creating components and ensuring instruments and machinery work correctly.

No matter what your interests are in life, you can be sure there is a mechanical engineering field that will suit your preferences. You just need to find the field and train in it.

Training

Training in mechanical engineering is critical to your success in the profession. The training you get during your apprenticeship in a company is particularly important because it gives you a head start when it comes to applying for real mechanical engineering jobs. You acquire practical skills in engineering while on work-based apprenticeship training, such measuring and testing skills.

Depending on the workplace you receive your apprenticeship training, you can expect to be assigned some kind of support or assistant role that will help you develop your machining skills in a real job. Furthermore, your apprenticeship training will give you a thorough grounding in safety and health in the workplace.

If you are taking your mechanical engineering apprenticeships in England and Wales, you will be required to return to the classroom regularly to learn the theory behind your on-the-job training. This will be geared towards satisfying nationally-recognised engineering requirements and qualifications, such as National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and Business Training and Education Council (BTEC).

Apprenticeship minimum wage

Mechanical engineering apprenticeships in England and Wales all lead to well paying careers. Perhaps the best part of the journey towards a satisfying career in mechanical engineering is that even as a junior member of an apprenticeship team, you are entitled to the same benefits and rights as everyone else you are working with.

You will receive, at the very least, the UK minimum apprenticeship wage while in training. The minimum apprenticeship wage in the UK is about £2.60 per hour for those under 19 or those in their first year. You should start receiving a slightly higher national minimum wage for your age group starting from the beginning of your second year of your apprenticeship.

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