Technical Support Technicians work as part of a team to provide technical support and expertise for all areas of the Engineering and Manufacturing function. This includes communications software, test, analysis tools, measurement, off line programming, process control, performance and continuous improvement solutions, capacity planning, production scheduling/planning, product technical applications and capability, technical sales and marketing support, product development and innovation, engineering drawing, purchasing and/or supply of goods or services for engineering activities, quality control, inspection and e-commerce technologies as required.
The requirements of the apprenticeship are designed to offer stretch and progression. The apprentice will be able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality, accuracy and timely delivery of the work they undertake. They will be proactive in finding solutions to problems and identifying areas for improving the business.
Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships. In order to optimise success, candidates will typically have four GCSEs at grade C or equivalent, including Mathematics, English (grade 4 or above) and a Science. Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at grade C or above must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.
There will be two phases of training to ensure that apprentices meet this apprenticeship standard, in line with specified employer requirements.
The foundation phase will be intensive off-the-job training focused on developing the apprentice's core skills, knowledge and behaviour, allowing them to work effectively with supervision in a largely simulated working environment.
This stage will typically require 1,400 Vocational Guided Learning Hours, building up from the basics to more complex engineering operations and practices. The tasks will be aligned to the job role to develop a range of tailored core engineering techniques. By the end of this phase, the apprentice will therefore be able to demonstrate, under independent test conditions, that they can deploy the relevant skills and occupational behaviours.
There will be an employer endorsement as part of the final assessment of this phase to ensure that the apprentice has demonstrated full competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviours in this apprenticeship standard. The employer will sign off that the apprentice is ‘job ready’ as a competent technician.
Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) dress code. Any shortfalls in safety equipment will be addressed during the first week of the course.
Completion of this apprenticeship standard will be recognised by the relevant professional institutions as the evidence required for Engineering Technician (EngTech) registration through a professional review.
For those deemed capable and ready, there is the chance to progress to higher levels of education and training.
Taking an engineering course at Derby College Group marked the beginning of a whole new voyage of discovery for naval engineer Declan Clarke-Hancock.
After leaving Littleover Community School, Declan enrolled on the full-time performing engineering operations level 2 course at The Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills college.
Now aged 25, he is a third electro-technical officer (ETO) on the cruise ship Sapphire Princess and is seeing the world while doing an engineering job he loves.
Getting to where he is now hasn’t always been plain sailing though. The Derbyshire firm where Declan took a level 3 electrical apprenticeship closed just as he qualified. Unsure of what to do next, he was looking for a local job as an electrician when he spotted a cadetship opportunity with Princess Cruises.
After attending maritime college in Southampton, as well as training for months at sea, Declan then had to pass difficult Maritime and Coastguard Agency exams before taking up his current role.
Declan started as an ETO in May 2019 and is responsible for the 110,000-ton ship’s electrical and electronics, including looking after her 35 elevators, watertight doors and lifeboats.
Declan said: “Going to Derby College definitely gave me the step up I needed. Without that I wouldn’t have got where I am now so I’m very thankful. I’d like to come back to college and talk to engineering students about my experiences. I want to show them where studying engineering at the Roundhouse can lead – and that they don’t necessarily have to stay in Derby or the East Midlands when they qualify. The right qualifications can take them anywhere.”
Declan has already had many memorable travel experiences through his job. Highlights include kayaking and dog sled riding in an Alaskan glacier, watching England play football in the World Cup in St Petersburg and visiting New York.
Going to Derby College definitely gave me the step up I needed.