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Engineering Operative

Course Code: A2/0352/01-P1

Level: 2
Subject area: Engineering, Automotive & Marine

Qualification: Apprenticeship
Course type: Full-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: 12 - 15 months
When you'll study: One day a week, term-time

About the course

Engineering operatives are predominantly involved in engineering operations that are key to the success of the manufacturing and engineering sector. The role covers a wide range of common and job-specific skills sets that can be transferred across the industry.

You will be trained to carry out a range of engineering operations that could include: ensuring machines and equipment used are maintained and serviceable, dealing with breakdowns and restoring components and systems to serviceable condition by repair and replacement; operating a variety of machines (CNC or conventional); fabrication/installation of a wide variety of other sheet fabrications and equipment; fabrication and assembly of metal parts joining techniques; preparing materials and equipment for engineering processes; providing technical support including communications software, test tools, performance, capacity planning, and e-commerce technology as required. This Apprenticeship will be tailored to the work you carry out at your workplace but will also cover core skills that are transferable across the engineering sector.

During this Apprenticeship, you will have training sessions at City College Plymouth one day a week, term-time, to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry. You will also receive direct training from the business you are employed by for your Apprenticeship who will work with the College to ensure you are reaching your maximum potential via regular workplace observations and reviews.

What you'll learn

An Apprenticeship is broken down into three learning categories: skills, knowledge and behaviours. There are core knowledge and skills and then you will choose to specialise in a specific area. For the Level 2 Engineering Operative Apprenticeship, you will cover the following…


  •  work safely at all times, complying with health and safety legislation, regulations, environmental compliance procedures and systems and other relevant guidelines
  • identify and deal appropriately with any risks, hazards, hazardous situations and problems that may occur within the engineering environment within the limits of their responsibility
  • demonstrate effective communication skills which include oral, written, electronic
  • complete appropriate documentation accurately, efficiently and legibly using the correct terminology where required
  • obtain and follow the correct documentation, specifications and work instructions in accordance with time constraints and the roles and responsibilities identified for the engineering activities, extracting the necessary data/information from specification and related documentation
  • select and use appropriate tools, equipment and materials
  • deal appropriately with any problems that may occur within the manufacturing environment within the limits of their responsibility
  • work efficiently and effectively at all times maintaining workplace organisation and minimising waste.


  • how to obtain the necessary job instructions, engineering drawings and specifications and how to interpret them
  • relevant statutory, quality, environmental compliance procedures/systems, organisational and health and safety regulations relating to engineering operations
  • their individual roles and responsibilities within the organisation and the flexibility required to support the achievement of company targets
  • engineering operational practices, processes and procedures
  • potential problems that can occur within the engineering operations and how they can be avoided.


  • personal responsibility and resilience – comply with the health and safety guidance and procedures, be disciplined and have a responsible approach to risk, work diligently regardless of how much they are being supervised, accept responsibility for managing time and workload and stay motivated and committed when facing challenges.
  • work effectively in teams – integrate with the team, support other people and consider implications of their own actions on other people and the business
  • effective communication and interpersonal skills – open and honest, communicates clearly using appropriate methods, listens to others and has a positive and respectful attitude
  • focus on quality and problem solving – follow instructions and guidance, demonstrate attention to detail, follow a logical approach to problem solving and seek opportunities to improve quality, speed and efficiency
  • continuous personal development – reflect on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seek opportunities to develop, and have a positive attitude to feedback and advice.

You will be taught, guided and assessed on the above topics over the duration of your Apprenticeship to prepare for your achievement. This will be done via tutor practical sessions and visits at the workplace from your designated assessor who will ensure you are competent in the job you are doing.

Entry requirements

To undertake this Apprenticeship, you will be required to undergo an assessment with the course tutor. This is nothing to worry about! The tutor will have a conversation with you in order to assess your employability skills and your willingness to learn. They will also want to find out about any prior knowledge you may have. The assessment may include a practical task and a short workbook of basic questions about the industry.

If you do not already hold a GCSE at a grade 4-9 (A-C) or Functional Skills (level 1-2) in English and maths then you will be asked to complete a short assessment to determine what level you are currently working at. The results from this, combined with your tutor meeting, will ascertain whether we will be able to accept you onto an Apprenticeship and work with you to find an employer to begin your learning journey. Employers might set their entry requirements higher than this, and may require five A- C/equivalent GCSEs.


In order to achieve your Apprenticeship, you will need to complete an end-point assessment. The end-point assessment is the name given to a series of tests you must take to prove your ability to do the job you have been training for. These tests take place at the end of the Apprenticeship following a period of training and development.

This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 12 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.

What's next?

This industry offers many ongoing career development opportunities to suit your own particular interests. You may want to progress onto a Higher Apprenticeship or you could seek full-time employment. Completion of this Apprenticeship could lead to a number of different job roles in the engineering and manufacturing sector including: servicing and maintenance operative, machine setter/operative, mechanical engineering operative, fabricator, engineering fitter, multi-disciplined engineering operative, materials, processing and finishing operative, technical support operative, founding/casting operative.

Important information

By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.

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Andy Barkes

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