Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships: What is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships are at the heart of everything that is designed and manufactured. From the very smallest spring or valve in an internal combustion engine, to the very largest roller on a road-rolling vehicle. Every component has to be designed, tested, prototyped, manufactured and put into production.
A Mechanical Engineer creates solutions to engineering challenges. These solutions require complex calculations regarding a material’s durability and the loadings a particular component will need to withstand. These calculations must also take into account the temperature changes and expansion rates of different materials. They must also understand the complex way in which a series of components work together to create a machine that completes a specific task.
Mechanical Engineers need to have a deep understanding of the following key areas:
- Engineering design
- Technical drawing
- Computational fluid dynamics
Companies offering Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships will also teach you how to integrate many different types of mechanical systems and components.
Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships: What qualifications are required?
It will depend on the specific role and the specific company. It also depends on whether you take the Apprenticeship route into Engineering or via a University degree course. In this blog, we are specifically discussing Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships in the Automotive Industry.
For the majority of Apprenticeships, candidates should have at least 2 GCSEs in English and Maths. This would be sufficient for you to apply for a Mechatronics Apprenticeship at Honda‘s manufacturing plant in Swindon. Alternatively, you could also apply for a Maintenance Mechanical Apprenticeship at the Leyland Trucks plant in Leyland, near Preston.
However, some companies require as many as 5 GCSEs in English, Maths, a Science and engineering or technology related subjects. With 5 GCSEs, you could apply for an Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship with Perkins engines in the Midlands. Perkins is the engine manufacturing division of the larger Caterpillar group of companies which makes a range of 0ff-highway vehicles. Perkins designs and manufactures a wide range of large capacity diesel and gas engines for the agricultural, construction, industrial, power generation and material handling sectors.
How long do Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships take to complete?
Again, this can vary from company to company and from role to role. The Perkins Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship mentioned above takes 4 years, while Apprenticeships at Leyland Trucks last for between 2 to 4 years, depending on the role. Higher Degree Level Apprenticeships at Ford can take 5 years. Higher Degree Level Apprenticeships take longer because they work towards a University degree level qualification.
An experienced member of staff will provide on-the-job training and mentoring for Apprentices for the duraiton of the programme. In addition, Apprenticeships require a period of formal classroom or workshop training. The training generally requires between 4 to 8 weeks per year either at a dedicated training facility or a college training provider.
Where can I find the best Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships?
There are several Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships in all sorts of companies across the country. But how do you find them? Most people will simply enter “mechanical engineering apprenticeships” into Google and see what comes up. Or, if you know the name of a company to search for, you may search something like “Ricardo Apprenticeship“.
But what do you do after you’ve searched for all the companies you know?
How do you find companies you don’t even know exist?
How do you find something when you don’t know what it is you’re looking for?
The answer is to visit iwantobea.com, a website which brings together all of the Apprenticeships and Graduate Jobs in the Automotive Industry into one place. You can search by location, with many jobs available all across the country. Alternatively, you can filter by job type, not just for Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships, but Apprenticeships in Design, Business, Manufacturing, Motor Sport, Off-Highway Vehicles, or even Sales, Marketing and PR. You can also choose Apprenticeships for your level of qualification, either 1-3 GCSEs or 4+ GCSEs, or even A-levels for some higher level Apprenticeships.
If you register with iwantobea.com, you will have direct access to all the careers pages of companies you’ve never even heard. Companies which probably have a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship that was designed just for you. Register today: iwantobea.com/register