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Apprenticeship Plate Welder Standard Level 3Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: Ilkeston

Years: 3

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This advanced apprenticeship for welding is designed as a three-year programme. It equips you with a complex blend of skills, knowledge and occupational behaviours to produce good quality welds in pipe and/or plate using three welding process/material type combinations (TIG, PAW, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW) and (Carbon and Low Alloy Steel, High Alloy Ferritic/Martensitic Steel, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Nickel and Nickel Alloys, Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys) covering all welding positions (Downhand, Horizontal, Vertical, Overhead, Inclined).

Typically, the duration of this apprenticeship is 38 months. This duration may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience or who is already part-qualified.

Entry requirements

Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to achieve qualifications at Level 2 in English and Mathematics within the period of apprenticeship if they have not already achieved these.

Course Content

Practical training will train you to:

  • Produce good quality welds in pipe and/or plate using three welding process/material type combinations
  • Attain a qualification in accordance with one of the following standards: ISO 9606 / ASME IX / AWS D1.1
  • Achieve a quality of work to meet international standards for dimensional, surface inspection
  • Position, assemble, prepare and check the welding equipment
  • Receive, handle and maintain consumables
  • Prepare, check and protect materials and work area ready for welding
  • Check weld preparation and assembly prior to welding and accept for production
  • Complete progressive and final checks on the finished weld prior to release for formal inspection and report into the production control system
  • Ensure that health and safety requirements are fully accounted for in all the above

Academic training will equip you to:

  • Be aware of physical and mechanical properties and weldability of welded materials
  • Understand the fundamentals of welding metallurgy
  • Understand the common arc welding processes, joint types and welding positions
  • Understand the major components of welding equipment
  • Understand the terminology, operation and controls for general welding processes, joint types and welding positions
  • Identify and understand the causes and detection of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced
  • Understand the different types and functions of welding consumables and the requirements for correct storage and handling and recycling
  • Be able to identify and select correct welding consumables for each application
  • Appreciate the requirements for correct storage, handling and segregation of materials and tooling to prevent cross contamination between sensitive materials
  • Understand and identify hazards and health, safety and quality requirements when welding
  • Know how to monitor supporting activities often provided by others (fitting, purging, thermal treatment)
  • Know how to interpret and work to a welding procedure specification
  • Know the role and operation of welding quality documents and reporting systems

How will I be assessed?

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.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard PPE dress code. Any shortfalls in safety equipment will be addressed during the first week of the course.

What can I do after this course?

There are numerous pathways for Multi-Positional Welders who may wish to pursue higher level careers in welding. These include progression to High Integrity Welding, Welding Instruction and Teaching, Welding Inspection and Managing and Supervising Welding Operations.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Ilkeston Campus

About Ilkeston »

Rosie Dales

Rosie Dales

Welding student Rosie forges ahead in fabrications

Student welder Rosie Dales is forging ahead in the male-dominated world of fabrication thanks to Derby College. Rosie, 24, is set to take a Level 3 NVQ in Fabrication and Welding. She is also adding skills to a previous Level 2 qualification which she did not gain through an earlier provider. Rosie, who was born deaf and is a skilled lipreader, uses a hearing aid to boost what sound she can hear. She praised the teaching focus of her Derby College tutor and said her fellow students were "deaf aware", which was helpful. After working unpaid for two weeks, Rosie landed an apprenticeship with her grandfather's firm, Dales Fabrications, in Ilkeston. She found that she loved the work and the company is now funding her college training.

Rosie said: "I'm really enjoying the college work. The tutor is focussed on the students and I'm making good progress.

"I think it's going well. I'm taking small steps at a time. After I qualify I might go on to a higher qualification and see where that takes me. We'll see."



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