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.
Securing an apprenticeship with global engineering group SNC-Lavalin was the perfect route into engineering for Jason Singh.
Now in his final year at college, he is taking a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering on day release at Derby College’s Roundhouse as part of the in-house scheme.
Jason said: “Being on an in-house degree apprenticeship means the experience I’m getting is more relevant and hands-on – and I don’t have the debt associated with going to university.
“I have some good lecturers and they’ve been supportive during lockdown when we’ve not been able to go into college.”
He usually studies at the Roundhouse from 8.45am to 7.15pm one day a week.
Jason, whose interest in engineering started back in primary school with the Lego challenge, has always been good at maths. Working in the rail industry, a lot of his role is focused on management and maintenance of rolling stock and rail systems. But he’s also been involved in the dynamics and structural side as well.
Since starting his apprenticeship he has assisted his employer on several large projects, including a seven-month contract to create a maintenance strategy for a rail depot in Cambridge.
When he’s finished his degree, Jason, now 22, is hoping to gain some international experience with SNC-Lavalin’s overseas operations.
He said: “I’d like to work in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or possibly in Canada, where the group is based. I’ve always wanted to travel and see other cultures and this job offers that opportunity.”
Being on an in-house degree apprenticeship means the experience I’m getting is more relevant and hands-on – and I don’t have the debt associated with going to university.
I have some good lecturers and they’ve been supportive during lockdown when we’ve not been able to go into college.