« Go Back

Apprenticeship in General Welding Level 2 (Standard) Apply Now »

Course Image
Level: 2

Location: Ilkeston

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

Welding is a way to make high strength joints between two or more parts. General Welders use high electrical energy to form an arc. Manual dexterity is essential in controlling the arc, which is used to melt metals, allowing them to fuse together to form a structurally sound weld.

Welding is used extensively and in almost every sector of industry. There is a high demand for skilled General Welders in areas such as: automotive, marine, transport, general fabrication, construction and many more sectors. General Welders produce items like components for cars; ships; rail vehicles; simple metallic containers; and steelwork for bridges, buildings and gantries.

Welding is a safety critical occupation and every welder takes responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their work. General Welders are required to produce joints that satisfy basic quality standards in order to ensure that the finished products function correctly, contributing to the safety of all and the global quality of life.

Skilled, qualified, professionally certified General Welders can work anywhere in the world and provide services in the harshest of environments. For these accomplished professionals, the monetary rewards can be significant.

There is a highly complex range of welding skills:  the different arc welding processes require different levels of manual dexterity, knowledge and skill to avoid making defective welds. There is a wide range of metallic materials that can be welded, each with different properties and behaviours.

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 successfully achieve qualifications at Level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at Level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if they have not already achieved these.

Course Content

General Welders will have the skill to:

  • Produce good quality welds using two welding process/material type combinations (TIG, 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) in two welding positions (Downhand, Horizontal, Vertical, Overhead).
  • Attain a qualification in accordance with one of the following standards: ISO 9606 / ASME IX / BS4872 / AWS D1.1, determined by the employer. N.B. These qualifications are regarded as licences to practice in welding.
  • Achieve a quality of work to meet international standards for dimensional and surface inspection (Visual, Magnetic Particle Inspection and Dye Penetrant Inspection).
  • Position, prepare and check the welding equipment.
  • Receive, handle and maintain consumables.
  • Prepare, check and protect materials and work area ready for welding.
  • Complete and check the finished weld ready for inspection and report into the production control system.
  • Ensure that health and safety requirements are fully accounted for in all the above.

General Welders will:

  • Be aware of the basic mechanical properties and weldability of welded materials.
  • Understand the common arc welding processes, joint types (fillet, lap, butt, etc.) and positions.
  • Understand the major components of welding equipment and the essential parameters for welding.
  • Understand the terminology, operation and controls for the selected arc welding processes, joint types and welding positions.
  • Identify and understand the causes of typical welding defects, and how their occurrence can be reduced, for the materials and welding processes selected.
  • Understand the functions of welding consumables and the requirements for correct storage and handling.
  • Be able to identify and select correct welding consumables for each application.
  • Understand and identify hazards and basic health, safety and quality requirements when welding.
  • Know how to interpret and work to a welding procedure specification.
  • Know the basics of welding quality documents and reporting systems.
  • Have a questioning attitude to understand the processes and associated industrial applications.
  • Maintain competence with a commitment to Continuing Professional Development.
  • Undertake planning and preparation to ensure production and Continuing Professional Development goals are achieved.
  • Intervene to challenge poor practices and channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change.
  • Show reliability and dependability to consistently deliver expectations in production, quality, work ethics and self-development.
  • Be accountable for following the specified procedures and controls and be personally responsible for their production work and personal development.

How will I be assessed?

The aim of the end-point assessment is to fully establish if the apprentice has achieved the knowledge, skills and behaviours listed in the Apprenticeship Standard.
Each part of the end-point assessment covers the different part(s) of the Standard so that, in aggregate, the end-point assessment in its entirety delivers the synoptic assessment required.
Apprentices will be required to successfully achieve qualifications at Level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at Level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if they have not already achieved these qualifications.
In welding, there is a wide range of possible combinations of welding process, parent material and welding position. Even in a comprehensive apprenticeship programme it will only be possible for an apprentice to gain competence in a small number of these combinations.
The employer will be required to select skill/knowledge modules that are the most relevant to their organisation. The employer will notify the Training Body and the Assessment Organisation of the modules selected.
The apprenticeship programme is expected to have an overall duration of 18 months (but no shorter than 16 months). Prior to undertaking the end-point assessment, apprentices will be required to undergo a sustained period of on- and/or off-the-job training provided by a Training Body that meets the recommendations.
There will be a mandatory three-part holistic end-point assessment starting no earlier than three months before the planned end of programme.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard PPE dress code. With the addition of new legislation, apprentices will be required to wear face fitted masks to comply. As such, apprentices will need to be clean shaven (to comply with face fit) or purchase an air fed mask.

Cost to be confirmed.

What can I do after this course?

You could progress to the Advanced Apprenticeship in Welding Standard Level 3 (Plate pathway).

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."



Go to top