You can specialise in either Mechanical Engineering or Fabrication and Welding on this apprenticeship. It combines employment with training: you will gain practical skills and business improvement techniques in the workplace, supported by study at the College.
For a Level 3 qualification, you will need to have completed the Level 2 NVQ and Technical Certificate programme. You will require an interview before enrolment on this course. In addition to having Level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications, you will need to be well motivated and self-disciplined.
Internal assessments take the form of practical and knowledge exercises and there is one external multi-choice exam for the Technical Certificate. The NVQ3 is assessed at the workplace, with no formal exam but underpinning questions.
If you are over 19 years of age, employer contributions towards your training will be required. You will also need safety equipment – overalls and boots – in line with College requirements.
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."