Higher Apprenticeship Framework

Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Level 4


The Higher Apprenticeship framework has been designed to provide the manufacturing and engineering sector with high grade technicians and engineers who have practical skills, combined with a higher education qualification. The framework facilitates progression to Level5/6 and Incorporate Engineer status.

Profile of the advanced manufacturing Engineering sector in England

  • The sector in England employs approximately 2.4million people across 120000 establishments
  • 1.27 million engineers, scientists and technologists across the sectors
  • Around 458000 are employed in high level technical roles made up of 67000 technicians, 174000 professional engineers and 217000 engineering managers
  • Around 6600 vacancies per year with employers reporting 1650 of these being hard to fill as applicants do not have required technical and practical skills
  • Breakdown of the 6600 are 2200 technicians, 3200 professionals and 1200 managers

Challenges for the sector

The importance of high level skills in the sector is growing. In 2010 19% of all jobs in manufacturing were at or above technician level. This is expected to increase further with lower level craft jobs decreasing 2012-2016. In order to meet the challenges to fill high-level occupational skills gaps, manufacturing employers have increased training activity/spend or they are increasing and expanding programmes such as apprenticeships.

Employers are supporting the higher apprenticeship in advanced manufacturing because it provides a cost effective, comprehensive package of qualifications, rather than using stand-alone qualifications. The competence and knowledge qualifications in the framework contribute to general competence as measured in the Engineering Council’s UK specification and is endorsed by IMechE and the IET.

Funding and Entry Requirements

The funding changes dependent upon age group and SETA recruitment staff can speak to you in detail to ensure the most effective and efficient option is realised for your company. Previous experience/qualifications can also affect the duration and cost to companies; again each case needs to be looked at in detail.

Generally all age groups can apply for the Higher Apprenticeship framework and this should be considered as an alternative to graduate recruitment with obvious benefits to employers and apprentices as listed below:

Benefits to employers:

  • Reducing training and recruitment costs
  • Developing a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce
  • Increasing productivity and their bottom line
  • Increasing customer service results and providing a financial return on investment
  • Work with the learner to establish work ethic and company values
  • Level 2 PEO units funded within framework for those under 24


Benefits to apprentice:


  • Opportunity to earn and learn
  • Gaining valuable experience and gaining a recognised high level qualification
  • Gain recognised practical skills
  • No high level of university depts.
  • Potential career progression
  • Recognised qualification with Engineering Council
  • Working alongside experienced staff
  • Supported throughout apprenticeship by SETA staff and employer.


To arrange a meeting and gain more information on Higher Apprenticeships please contact Ian Burns at iburns@setatraining.com or call our office: (0)161 480 9822.

SETA Training Centre

18 Hammond Avenue, Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom, SK4 1PQ

Phone: +44 (0)161 480 9822
Fax: +44 161 477 4720

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