Level 2 Road Surfacing Operative Apprenticeship

Two Highway Maintenance Skilled Operatives repairing a road.

Does surfacing, resurfacing, and improvement of vast stretches of the public and privately owned highway network interest you? If so, read on to find out the tasks that you will be responsible daily and the entry requirements for you to be a Road Surfacing operative.

What is Road Surfacing Operative and the Entry Criteria?

The Road Surfacing Operative Role revolves around working as a team on a day-to-day basis outside and carrying out multiple projects whilst learning that safety is key for yourself and other peers. Accuracy is a key aspect of road surfacing therefore, you will be trained in order to resurface prepared areas using a range of road surfacing machinery to make sure a new surface matches the specific designs of a design.

We require you to have the following below to get you onboard:

  • Level 2 in Maths & English
  • Alternatively, if you do not have the above, we accept a British sign language qualification for those whose English is your primary language

This course duration is between 15-18 months three years with a salary of £14,000 per year and having the ability to earn qualification in construction.

Key Responsibilties of a Road Surfacing Operative

Road surfacing construction role includes for you to:

  • Prepare and operate large specialist resurfacing plant and machinery such as planers to remove the existing surfacefloating screed pavers laying asphalt, rollers, chippers, loading shovels, and large hydraulic breakers.
  • Identify, locate and excavate around underground services to avoid strikes and loss of service.
  • Apply appropriate health, safety,  environmental and ecological procedures when working on the roads, including the movement, storage, lifting, and handling of resources.
  • Use your own time effectively in order to consistently complete work on time for agreed programmes.
  • Work effectively within a team environment, cooperating and supporting team members when required e.g. below
Engineering Construction Erector Rigger.

The key knowledge that is required in this job

In this Apprenticeship, you will be pro-actively learning all aspects of construction & surfacing operations that will be learned on-site which falls into public work and industrial projects:

  • Risk assessments, method statements in order to undertake work.
  • The structure of the highway, civil engineering methods including the principles of construction technology.
  • Plant and machinery such as planers, rollers, chippers, loading shovels and large hydraulic breakers and their correct usage.
  • Drawings, plans, and specifications in order to identify what works are required.
  • Traffic management systems and how to work safely within them.
  • The principles of measurement and how to apply them.

The attributes & habits of a Road Surfacing Operative

Working as Road Surfacing Operative is a multi-disciplined intense role therefore, we require a serious candidate that can do the following below:

  • Display the confidence to resist pressures to work following unsafe practices.
  • Show a willingness to be adaptable, adjusting to changing work instructions.
  • Apply equality, diversity and inclusion in dealing with others.
  • Be polite and courteous when dealing with colleagues, clients and the public.


As demonstrated you may now know, the Level 2 Road Surfacing Opeartive is the best and early way to progress in this industry which comes along with heavy responsibilities that provides you the opportunity to show off your skills and expertises.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please click this link here and one of our team members will get back to you

For the latest trends and updates in the construction industry – click here!

Fire Emergency/Security Systems Technician Apprenticeship

Level 3 Fire Emergency and Security Systems Technician Apprenticeship

Does installing and maintaining fire emergency and security systems for homes and commercial properties interest you? Do you value the safety of people’s working and home lives? Keep reading to see if this apprenticeship could be your ticket to a promising career in fire emergency and security systems.

Two fire and security technicians teaching each other new skills.
Pexels: Fire Emergency and Security Systems Technician.

Jobs and entry criteria for the level 3 fire emergency and security systems technician apprenticeship

This apprenticeship provides the foundations for finding a role in the fire emergency and security systems sector. These include roles such as: fire alarm technician or security engineer. Fire alarm technician salaries average at £28,000 with an achievable salary of £38,000 making for a fruitful career option. If you are looking towards the security engineer role, this has an average salary of £40,000 with a potential salary of £74,000. This of course being the higher of the two salaries would be more lucrative, however, it is important to note that money is not the be-all and end-all and that it is important to search for a job role that you will enjoy and professionally prosper. The level 3 fire emergency and security systems technician apprenticeship could be the keystone to you successfully obtaining the career path you are looking for, and even breaching out to other related areas in the far future.

With regards to entry requirements, these will be determined individually by employers however apprentices must show the necessary literacy and numeracy skills required to achieve the main outcomes of the programme. However, apprentices who do not currently hold a level 2 in English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship. It is also important to note that an employer’s decision to employ you can heavily depend on whether or not they think that you are the right fit for their organisation.

What key responsibilities will you need for this apprenticeship?

The general role of a technician in this field is to be able to implement fire safety and security into systems situated in commercial buildings and homes. The main focus is the installation of these systems followed by maintenance to protect properties from risk and danger. The projects will vary in complexity, which as a technician you will gradually begin to understand and work towards becoming competent in this field.

Core Competencies

With regards to the job role, you will need to satisfy the following competencies:

  • Understand health and safety legislation, codes of practice and safe working practices.
  • Complete installation and testing techniques for electrical and electronic components, equipment and control systems for fire, emergency and security systems.
  • Understand fundamental principles and quality processes associated with industry/company codes of practices.
  • Understand fundamental design criteria, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire, emergency, security systems and components.
  • Know how to  store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or  receive data/information electronically in a digital form across a range of ICT applications (e.g. personal computers, digital transmission over IP, email, mobile communication technology).
  • Be compliant to environmental legislation and the impact of processes and technologies associated with fire, emergency and security systems.
  • Follow principles of high-quality customer service and the needs of others.
  • Use different communication styles, know how to communicate in a clear, articulate and appropriate manner and how to adapt communication style to suit different situations.
  • Understand commercial risks and responsibilities.

The competencies listed above will be detailed in the appropriate apprenticeship documents.

Knowledge modules

  • Fire
  • Security
  • Fire and emergency lighting
  • Fire and security (both themes have equal weighting throughout)
  • Working safely
  • System technologies
  • Supervisory

These are the general areas which you will be studying. Exams will be taken on these areas and is concluded by and end point assessment. This includes a knowledge test and a practical skills test, followed by a professional discussion.


Taking in the above-mentioned, you can see that the level 3 fire emergency and security systems technician apprenticeship creates a fantastic foundation for those pursuing a career in the fire safety/security industry. This course provides the necessary skills to advance your career and progress in this industry. With the way that the modern world is progressing, anyone who commits their career to fire safety/systems will have a plethora of career choices and a prosperous future ahead of themselves.

A flat lay of apprentice tools and equipment.
Pexels: Level 3 Apprentice Tools and Equipment.

More Information:

💻 Apprenticeships UK
🧑‍🔧 Find out more here about the Role Overview of the Level 3 Apprenticeship
📄 Level 3: Fire Emergency and Security Systems Technician Assessment Plan

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Dos and Don’ts For PPC Digital Marketing Campaigns

When starting out on your Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, or coming from a more traditional marketing background, PPC can often feel like a different world. The below do’s and don’ts will help provide a clearer picture on what it takes to develop and run a successful PPC marketing campaign.

First let’s start with the basics – what does PPC mean?

Pay Per Click Tiles

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It entails the use of search ads and discovery ads to encourage people to click through to your website. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that click.

Other key PPC terms to know before reading on are:

  • ETAs: Extended Text Ads
  • RSAs: Responsive Text Ads

Let’s get into the Dos and Don’ts!

DO: Consider Your Marketing Goals

When first setting up your PPC campaign there are a number of key decisions you will need to make, one of which is the bid strategy you set the campaign to. In order to decide this, you should consider the goal of your campaign.

There are multiple bid strategy options you can select that align with different aims. The two key ones are:

  • Target CPA Efficiency
  • Target Impression Share

CPA Efficiency Bid Strategy

This is the best option to choose if your campaign has a goal of maximising conversions within a certain budget. It works by selectively bidding to show ads only to the people that are likely to convert, reducing clicks with low intent and increasing CPA efficiency. KPIs to look at are CPA and CvR.

Target Impression Share Bid Strategy

This is the best option to choose if your campaign has a goal of increased visibility and awareness. It seeks to show your ads to a large number of people, meeting an impression share threshold on the search engines results page. It can help gain more share of voice and visibility over your competitors. KPIs to look at here are Impression Share, Impressions, and Clicks

DON’T: Be Too Generic

In PPC, budgets are important to keep track of and use efficiently. You don’t want to bid on irrelevant keywords that are only tangentially related to your product/website. No matter the search volume they may have, it will only lead to a high bounce rate, wasted spend and negative customer interactions as searchers can’t find what they’re looking for.

Do your research to find and understand which keywords are the most relevant and valuable to you to drive target audiences to your site.

Tip: Check out the Google Keywords Planner and Ahrefs tools for keyword insights!

Similarly to the above, being too generic with the language used in your text ads or discovery ads can also lead to lower CTRs and/or increased bounce rates, spending money without seeing any returns.

Ensure headers and descriptions are to the point, contain key messaging, and are relevant to the searcher as well as reflecting what’s on the landing page.

You can find out more about best practise for building Search ads here.

DO: Let The Data Guide You

PPC campaigns have a plethora of data measurements to look at to understand success. You can use platforms like Search Ads 360 to find Cost, Impressions, CTR, CPA, Impression Share, CvR and bounce rate all in one place.

After setting a campaign live, you should be checking performance regularly and constantly assessing whether the campaign is still meeting your marketing goals. Here it is best to let the data guide you – don’t be afraid to pause ads if they are not delivering the results you expected.

Staying reactive and basing decisions off the data will be a huge benefit. If you are able to see that one campaign or ad is doing great while another is getting no traction at all, you can re-phase budget to push the high performing ads further and capitalise on this.

Data also is the best indication that you need to make changes to your campaigns. Low performance can indicate the need to re-evaluate and update your keyword list, check landing page sitelinks are all correct, or to look into competitor activity and visibility.

Data Image

DON’T: Forget About The Wider Industry

Google and the wider PPC industry is consistently changing, and gaining new regulations. It’s important to stay across these things so you’re not caught out down the line and can plan for future campaigns.

For example, Google have announced that ETA search ad formats will be completely unavailable from June 2022, replaced fully with RSAs. Being across this news from early on allows a company to adapt, testing what messaging and copy works best in this format rather than be caught off guard. Read more about this change here.

Another interesting development is the news that we will be cookieless by the end of 2023, meaning third party cookies will no longer be supported across Google Chrome. PPC marketers need time to assess how this will impact audience (re)targeting and what this means for future strategy.

DO: Test and Learn

Within PPC campaigns there are many test and learn opportunities which can be utilised to optimise your campaign performance, meet KPI targets and achieve marketing goals.

A/B tests are a great place to start here. These work by having two ads put in rotation, standardised expect for one difference between them. Within platforms like Search Ads 360 you can view performance at ad level and compare across ads to understand which change should be optimised toward, for example which key messaging drives the highest CTR.

Similarly, you can test formats and creative of discovery ads in this way, i.e. carousels vs static images, to help inform activity for future campaigns. Testing different bid strategies as well as audience targeting strategies (using affinity audiences, in-market audiences, customer audiences) can also be valuable, especially when considering how to expand reach and grow.

DON’T: Forget You’re Part Of A Team

Though PPC activity can seem very self-contained, it’s important to remember that PPC is still part of a whole marketing strategy. Remember to communicate with the relevant teams to stay up to date about upcoming trading offers and new key messaging and/or campaigns to support, as well as with the site personnel to stay across landing page changes and potential updates you may otherwise miss.

Keep being collaborative to ensure your campaigns are updated with the correct information, messaging and targeting!


Though invaluable for anyone to learn about in today’s marketing landscape, for current Level 3 Digital Marketing apprentices, undertaking a PPC campaign is an amazing way to hit specialist area and implementation competencies.

I hope these Dos and Don’ts have offered some insight into best practise and how to develop successful PPC digital marketing campaigns, optimising performance for your business. If you’re looking to learn about PPC marketing in more detail, check out this course on Skillshop that gives a comprehensive introduction to all things Search ads.

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Level 7 Chartered Town Planner (Degree Apprenticeship)

Are you interested in sustainable development, conservation and improving infrastructure?

Read on to find out how this Level 7 Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship can progress your career and give you the opportunity to impact and shape the towns, cities and villages we live in. Gain invaluable knowledge and skills to become a trusted professional, officially recognised by the Chartered Members of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Jobs and Entry Criteria for the Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship

While it is the individual employer who decides any entry requirements, an apprentice may typically be expected to have a relevant Level 3 qualification or equivalent (such as A Levels), to embark on this course.

Level 2 English and Maths are also required in order to take the end point assessment, however apprentices can achieve these after undertaking the course if they so choose.

  • British Sign Language qualifications can replace the minimum English requirement if this is the primary language the apprentice uses.
  • For those with an education, health & care plan, or legacy statement, the minimum English and Maths requirement is Entry Level 3.

The Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship opens a wide range of opportunities for an apprentice, with the option to go on to work for an organisation or as a contractor. Sectors an apprentice can go into are varied, including:

  • Construction
  • Environment
  • Housing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Regeneration
  • Coastal Heritage and Conservation
  • Minerals and Waste

Jobs are also available across local and national governments, private consultancies, corporations, and voluntary or non-governmental organisations, so there is a wealth of options available to an apprentice with this Level 7 qualification. When looking for a job in this field, there are multiple roles to keep an eye out for. Some typical job titles that apprentices may expect to look for include Planning Officer, Town Planner, Planner, and Development Management Planner.

Not only can this Level 7 degree apprenticeship open doors right now, but there is plenty of opportunity for further progression, with the course giving you the necessary base to go on to more senior roles in your career, for example as a Senior Planner or Principal Planning Officer. With sustainable development at the forefront of discussions today, town planning roles will continue to be essential to society and prove a stable long term career.

Key Responsibilities of a Chartered Town Planner Apprentice

Chartered Town Planners seek to balance economic growth and the needs of a community in terms of homes, jobs and facilities, with the impact on the environment. They are responsible for finding sustainable ways to develop the villages, towns and cities we live in, changing and improving them whilst keeping environmental integrity front of mind. Town Planner responsibilities include:

  • Researching and assessing technical information, data and surveys when considering proposals
  • Assessing land areas in person where necessary
  • Preparing statutory planning applications and proposals
  • Analysing and identifying land planning issues, allocating sites and resources (environmental, social and economic)
  • Formulating local strategic planning policy, laws and practise
  • Delivering infrastructure to the benefit of the public i.e. roads, railways, minerals, waste and energy facilities, collaborating with professionals including architects, surveyors, engineers, builders and environmental specialists when necessary
  • Attending committees, public inquiries and appeals, presenting when necessary and listening to ideas and answering questions
  • Write complex reports for a wide range of audiences including politicians, the public, and commercial clients, to assess and explain legislation, recommending if a plan should be accepted.

In carrying out responsibilities, it’s important to remember that Chartered Town Planners are held to the professional and ethical standards of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Decisions will have a long-term impact on economic, social and environmental well-being, so it’s critical to make sure the quality of work and level of service is high.

Town Planner Image

Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Core Knowledge and Behaviours

In carrying out a role as Town Planner, there are a number of core skills, areas of knowledge, and behaviours you will need to hold and demonstrate.


Skills include creative vision and design, research and critical analysis, decision making, plan implementation, stakeholder management, project management, collaborative working, communication and presentation skills.


Knowledge of planning theory and policy, as well as related law, political, and economic frameworks is essential to the responsibilities of a Town Planner. Understanding spatial design, sustainable resource management, community and stakeholder engagement, as well as professional ethical frameworks is also important to grasp.


The apprentice is held to the Royal Town Planning Institute’s standard of professional conduct. Within this, there are certain behaviours a Chartered Town Planner is expected to exhibit including honesty, integrity, due diligence, independent professional judgement, respect and equality. Aside from this, a focus on outcomes, positive attitude and a desire to learn and improve the world we live in will help an apprentice fulfil the role to the best standard.

The occupational standard for the Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship will offer further information on the skills and knowledge a Town Planner should understand, and explain what these are and why they are necessary in more detail.

Chartered Town Planner Assessment and Qualification

This Level 7 apprenticeship normally takes five years to complete, however depending on any planning qualifications the apprentice already holds, this may be shorter.

Upon entering Gateway, typically at 60 months, the apprentice has two methods to undertake.

Method 1 is professional discussion, presenting a reflective journal on pre-gateway experience and discussing with an independent assessor. This must be passed before apprentices can submit method 2.

Method 2 is an assessment of professional competence written assignment, where apprentices continue work experience, documenting professional experience gained post-gateway in a reflective journal. Once submitted, an assessor will grade the document against the skills, knowledge and behaviours listed above.

Upon completing the degree apprenticeship, apprentices will get a qualification from the regulating body, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited Planning School. They will become Chartered Members of the RTPI and officially able to use the title ‘Chartered Town Planner’.

For more information on the Town Planner Apprenticeship and assessment methods, see their assessment plan.


The Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship is a great way to progress or embark on a career in sustainable development that has a tangible positive impact on the communities around you. It is an accessible course open to past apprentices and employees looking to learn and grow in this industry, allowing you to earn while you learn. With an accredited qualification from the RTPI and a bounty of key skills and professional knowledge, this apprenticeship is valued by employers and apprentices alike, opening up a huge range of job opportunities across a variety of sectors – the options are endless.

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Building Services Design Engineer Apprenticeship (Level 6)

Worm’s eye view of contemporary, glass high-rise buildings

Are you excited by the idea of designing, installing and maintaining building services, like lighting and heating? Does infrastructure interest you? If this sounds up your street, read on to find out how the degree-level Building Services Design Engineer apprenticeship may be a great route to a new career.


How the level 6 Building Services Design Engineer apprenticeship works

The Building Services Design engineer apprenticeship teaches an apprentice the skills needed to design the various services found in buildings and infrastructure projects.

Duration of apprenticeship

Typically 60-66 months (5-5½ years), depending on the apprentice’s previous experience.

What a Building Services Design Engineer job entails

A Building Services Design Engineer manages a team of engineers and technicians. They work with other construction professionals to design, maintain and install various services found in buildings and infrastructure projects.

The engineers work typically include the following:

  • Renewable and emerging technologies
  • Energy management
  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Air conditioning
  • Lighting
  • Power
  • Water services
  • Building transportation (e.g. lifts), and more!

Buildings and infrastructure can vary from newly built premises to the refurbishment of older facilities, for every sector of industry.

Building Services Design Engineers will undertake both the technical and commercial management of projects using engineering design solutions to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment and community.

They employ current and emerging technology to produce innovative engineering design solutions for development, manufacture and construction.

Career options with a level 6 Building Services Design Engineer Apprenticeship

Building services design engineers may work for a design consultancy, a contractor or a manufacturing company.


There are plenty of opportunities to earn an above-average salary in this field.

  • Starting salaries for a graduate building services design engineer average between a respectable £26000 to £28000.
  • More experienced design engineers earn on average a salary of around £40000, with more senior engineers earning above £55000.
  • Partners or highly experiences building services design engineers with chartered status may earn over £80000. Engineers in larger international consultancies can earn over £110000 a year.

TIP: Having chartered status also increases your pay level.

Entry requirements

Apprenticeship candidates will usually have at least three A levels at Grades A*-C including Mathematics and Physical Science or their equivalent.

Alternatively, they can complete a Level 3 Apprenticeship as a Building Services Design Technician.

Qualifications gained with a Level 6 Building Service Design Engineers Apprenticeship

Building Services Design Engineer Apprenticeship learner looks at plans on laptop
A Building Services Design Engineer apprenticeship will teach you a wealth of skills

With this level 6 apprenticeship, successful apprentices will earn a BSc or BEng building services degree with accreditation by the relevant professional engineering institution.

NOTE: Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths must achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.

Building Services Design Engineer Apprenticeship structure

The Building Services Design Engineer Apprenticeship is divided into three parts:

  • Approximately Month 0-60: Recommended on programme assessment through
    • Assignments
    • Projects
    • Portfolio of evidence
    • Development reviews
    • Examinations
  • Around Month 60: Gateway

Satisfactory completion of knowledge skills and behaviours including an accredited building services degree. Level 2 in Maths & English must be achieved. At this point, the application for the End Point Assessment (EPA) is confirmed by your employer.

  • Two months before expected end date: End Point Assessment
    • Presentation and questioning on the research assignment
    • Structured interview informed by the Engineering Practice Report
    • Assessment by assessors appointed by the relevant Professional Engineering Institution

You pass if you achieve the above. You’re then registered as an Incorporated Engineer

[Source: Open Government Licence for public sector information]

Key learnings

As mentioned above in part one of the apprenticeship, there are core learnings that the apprentice must develop and demonstrate during their apprenticeship. These divide into knowledge, skills and behaviours.


A Building Services Design Engineer apprenticeship needs an in-depth knowledge of:

  • Mathematical, scientific and engineering principles and methods. These are important because they underpin the design of complex building services systems.  
  • Digital solutions to model, design, analyse and evaluate building service systems.
  • Research techniques to improve how business services systems perform.
  • Quality standards, codes of practice, legal and regulatory frameworks. These govern the design of building services systems, in reference to health, safety and welfare and environmental impact.
  • Principles and techniques of whole life evaluation in the design of building engineering services systems. These consider account critical constraints like due concern for safety and sustainability.
  • Principles and techniques of effective project management. These include resources, cost and risk assessment.
  • How to manage teams and develop staff to meet shifting technical and managerial needs.
  • Effective communication effectively through reports, drawings, specifications and presentations. This includes how to explain design principles with both technical and non-technical people.
  • Dealing fairly and honestly when selection suppliers or contractors. This includes fair reviewing of tenders when making recommendations for award of contracts.


A Building Services Design Engineer will be able to do the following:

  • Use a solid, evidence-based approach to problem solving. These will lead to developing building services engineering design solutions to enhance the quality of the environment and community, and meet client, financial and safety objectives.
  • Identify, review and select the best way to design complex building services systems and components.
  • Champion the continuous improvement of the design of building services systems and components. This includes using latest industry developments and best practice and taking part in design reviews and evaluation.
  • Manage and apply safe systems of work. This includes being responsible for own obligations for health, safety and welfare issues, assessing and controlling risk, working with health, safety and welfare legislation and best practice.
  • Manage the planning, budgeting and organisation of tasks, people and resources Achieve this via the following:
    •  Appropriate management systems
    • Working to agreed quality standards, project programme and budget
    • Working within legal, contractual and statutory requirements
  • Manage teams and develop staff to meet shifting technical or managerial needs.
  • Communicate effectively through reports, drawings, specifications, presentations and discussions. Be able to do so with both technical and non-technical people.
  • Complete and document continuing profession development, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and competence as a building services design engineer.


A great Building Services Design Engineer will:

  • Have compassion and be perceptive. They are aware of the needs and concerns of others, especially in terms of diversity and equality
  • Show they’re reliable
  • Have integrity
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Be confident and adaptable when dealing with new or changing interpersonal situations
  • Create, retain and develop productive working relationships.
  • Have a strong commitment to health, safety and welfare.
  • Show personal commitment to professional and ethical standards
  • Recognize their obligation to society, the profession and the environment
  • Take responsibility for personal development, committing to learning and self-improvement
  • Be open to feedback

Although some of these components may feel unfamiliar, after completing the apprenticeship they will become second nature!


As you can see, the Level 6 Building Services Design Engineer apprenticeship is a fantastic avenue into an interesting, well-paid career. The ability to upskill and earn as you learn, in a varied role makes it a great option for anyone who loves learning and wants a job that’s far from boring. You’ll be sure to leave with a wealth of invaluable skills that will take your career to the next level.

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Level 3 Rail Engineering Apprenticeship

Railway Engineers hard at work

Are you looking to kickstart your career in The Railway? If yes, a Rail Engineering Apprenticeship is where you need to be. Rail can represent an interesting and rewarding career path. As a Railway Engineer, you will be doing work that makes a difference to millions of passengers everyday. The apprenticeship is a fantastic way to build on your existing skills and develop new ones that will be essential to your future in the business. 

Not only is this career fun and rewarding, you are also looking at the potential to earn up to £70,000 with the average salary starting at £25,000. 

Occupational Profile for Railway Engineering

Rail Engineering Technicians will provide technical support to Rail Engineers. Some examples of what the engineering disciplines will cover include; track, overhead line, signalling and telecommunications. As an apprentice you will have the opportunity to undertake the core learning and specialise in one particular field. Job titles include: Track Technician, Overhead Line Technician, Electrification Technician, Traction & Rolling Stock Technician, Signalling Technician, Telecoms Technician and Rail Systems Technician.

The entry requirements for this role are typically at least GCSEs in English Language at Grades 9-4, Maths at Grades 9-5 and one other subject at Grades 9-4. Or you will hold an NVQ or BTEC Level 2 of above in an Engineering subject or equivalents. 

Core Knowledge, Skills and behaviours of a Railway Engineer (level 3)

There are several knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required of a railway engineer. Throughout your apprenticeship you will develop and improve each one of these. To see the complete lists, visit Institute for Apprenticeships’ “Rail Engineer Apprenticeship page.

Knowledge Required

  • Safe and Professional working practices 
  • The scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design principles
  • How to work effectively and contribute to engineering solutions and innovation
  • The importance of 3rd party requirements and client confidentiality
  • How the railway works commercially   

Skills Required

  • Keep themselves and others safe by adhering to safe working practices.
  • Plan a high standard of technical work
  • Deliver a high standard of technical work
  • Solve problems
  • Manage resources
  • Communicate effectively

Behaviours that a railway engineer should demonstrate

  • Act professionally
  • Be risk aware
  • Display a self-disciplined, self-motivated, proactive approach to work
  • Work reliably and safely
  • Work effectively and efficiently, individually and as part of a team
  • Receptive to feedback
  • Prepared to make a personal commitment

Specific Knowledge and Skills:

In addition, for the discipline they are following, Technicians will have the following specific knowledge and skills regarding different techniques and methods used to construct, install, maintain and renew The Railway.

Track. You will need a good understanding of track geometry, the requirements, methods and techniques to install track. The impact of the railway environment e.g. tunnels, embankments, vegetation and drainage. Be able to undertake detailed inspection and analyze the performance and condition of track. 

Electrification. Be able to work to high and low voltage power rules, isolation and earthing of electrical systems at different voltages. Work on live battery & inverter systems. Understand, manage and maintain harmonic & power quality systems, transformer rectifiers, motor generators and transformers, DC traction breakers, protection and SCADA control systems.

Overhead Lines. Knowledge of excavation, ground works, different ‘piling’ methods and foundations. Understand construction design and bonding layouts, electrical clearance, insulation installation wiring and risks around radial load and correct methodology. 

Signaling. Understanding and application of safety integrity and fundamental signaling principles as applied to train control systems, the varying types of signal control and the signaling symbols and alphabet used in signaling design drawings. 

Telecoms. Understanding telecoms principles and associated operating procedures for railway communication and information systems (and systems interfaces) including optical networks, passenger alarm, customer information, CCTV and wireless networks. 

Traction & Rolling Stock. Understanding of vehicle design, construction, maintenance and operation. Working knowledge of the traction and rolling stock systems, sub systems and components which include mechanical, electrical, process controller and fluid power equipment. 

Rail Systems. This is a specialism in its own right and requires knowledge and skills from across the rail engineering disciplines above to be able to provide technical support and direction across a number of disciplines including traffic management systems, new train control systems, wheel/rail interface, remote condition monitoring and the requirements of a digital railway.

What Qualifications will you gain?

Qualifications gained during this Apprenticeship:

– Level 3 Rail Engineering (Competence)

– Level 3 Rail Engineering (Technical Knowledge)

Duration of Apprenticeship:

Typically 36 months. This will depend on your previous experience and access to opportunities.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

See some employers / training providers ready to hire in the links below:

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Mineral products technician apprenticeship

Level 5 – Mineral product technician

Are you looking to start an apprenticeship in the hazardous mineral products industry? Do you have great team management, people skills and would love to work in a dynamic and ever-changing industry? If so then why not consider applying for the Level 5 (higher education) Mineral products technician apprenticeship, and earn whilst you learn on the job.

Occupation summary – what is a mineral product technician?

Mineral product technicians are responsible for making sure that sufficient materials and products are available to meet customer requirements. This occupation is located within the large hazardous Mineral Products industry which includes deep mining and quarrying. This industry sector forms a vital contribution to the UK economy – with a turnover of £495 billion. The industry is responsible for providing raw materials that make up major infrastructure and building projects. In addition to this, it is also equally important for mineral product technicians to ensure that all health & safety, and environmental & quality requirements are met.

In addition to this, within the daily role as a Mineral product technician, you will interact with several colleagues and partners both internally and externally. There is a hybrid working space, with a mixture of working from within an office as well as working on-site.

Typical responsibilities within the job include:

  • Working with all members of the management team to continually monitor and supervise environmental, health and, safety measures within the business.
  • Optimising the effectiveness of the team by joining reoccurring briefings and meetings.
  • Assisting the sales team, as well as customers in ensuring that the highest standards of customer service is maintained.
  • Ensuring that all production equipment and systems are maintained to the highest standards, as well as ensuring that all equipment and systems meet current quality standards.

An employee within this occupation will be responsible for the safe operation of the site and maximising productivity on it. Mineral product technicians are employed in a wide range of extractive industries, including quarrying, concrete production, cement manufacture, cementitious products and clay manufacture (to name a few). These are the key specialist areas that are aligned with the apprenticeship:

  • Mineral extraction
  • Asphalt and Pavements
  • Concrete (Ready-mix and Precast)
  • Clays (Heavy and White)
  • Cement and Cementitious products

What Skills and Behaviours would I need?

Above all, it is important that a Mineral Product Technician demonstrates the following traits and skills. However, whilst completing an apprenticeship you’re learning on the job and so no doubt you’d pick up these skills along the way. The following are ideal requirements:

Some skills include:

  • Working competently, safely, and manage risks following HSE regulations.
  • Use knowledge of emergency response processes and procedures to deal with emergencies.
  • Recommend support and improvements to environmental, health, and safety culture, procedures, processes, and systems across the operation.
  • Apply root cause analysis.
  • Maximise the use of the resources, maximise products from raw materials, ensuring the sustainability of resources.

Some behaviours include:

  • A strong personal commitment to health, mental wellbeing, safety, and the environment.
  • Leads from the front setting a high example to all employees.
  • Works within the company policies, procedures and regulations at all times.
  • Enhances existing procedures, and contributes to a safer and more effective working environment, by identifying improvements to be made.
  • Encourages innovation and supports suggestions and feedback.

Entry Requirements for the Level 5 – Mineral Product Technician Apprenticeship

Apprentices without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level before taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Why not look at some other opportunities that we have on offer – or share them with a friend

Apprenticeship- Level 3 Lift and Escalator Electromechanic

Lift apprenticeship

Do you like the sound of being involved with installing new high technology equipment? Maybe you would like to know more about how you can learn about the modernization of lifts and elevators whilst getting paid. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy then we have the perfect opportunity for you to kick start your career. Take a look at the Level 3 Lift and Escalator Electromechanic Apprenticeship via the Apprenticeship Tips website.

What pre-existing skills do I need for the Apprenticeship?

The primary role of this apprenticeship includes learning how to install new, high technology equipment and also the maintenance and modernization of lifts and escalators. So of course, with learning being a key part of an apprenticeship, we don’t expect applicants to already have all the knowledge needed. Still interested? Keep reading…

Core skills for this role include health and safety, the ability to plan and organise efficiently, an understanding of electrical technology and an understanding of Mechanical Lift, Escalator and Moving Walk Technology. Self-motivation, the ability to work in a team and communication are also vital skills to succeed.

To apply for this role you will be expected to have already achieved three GCSEs or Level 2 equivalent including Maths, English and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. However, please note this differs for individual employers.

Image of escalators to demonstrate an area of the apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Occupational Duties

As part of your job role, you will carry out some key roles including but not limited to;

  • Installing passenger/ goods carrying lift systems in new or existing buildings to industry-specific quality standards for lifts
  • Maintenance, service and repair of existing passenger/ goods carrying lifts, ensuring that they function in line with manufacturer requirements.
  • Installing escalators in commercial and domestic buildings in open and enclosed areas
  • Maintenance, service and repair of existing escalators and moving walks.

All of this will make up your day-to-day activities whilst earning too! It almost sounds too good to be true.

What Qualification will I achieve?

Now for the exciting part. As part of this apprenticeship, you will achieve either a Level 3 QCF NVQ Diploma in Engineering Maintenance or a Level 3 QCF NVQ Diploma in Installation and Commissioning depending on your pathway chosen. This is an invaluable qualification recognised nationally by employers.


This apprenticeship is a great way to kick start your career and gain some real workplace experience. Over the course of 36-42 months, you will learn valuable skills and behaviours which are transferrable across many industries. Don’t sit around thinking what if, apply now.

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Is this apprenticeship not quite right for you? Check out our website to read more blogs on different areas and industries to make the choice that is right for you!

A guide to creating the perfect meta description

A guide to find the perfect meta description

I’m guessing not everyone has thought to themselves “How can I create the perfect meta description?” Well, if you have it’s your lucky day as in this blog piece, we explore the key components to make a great meta description and what NOT to do!

Meta descriptions or meta tags can play a vital role in getting your website to rank high on Google or creating an engaging first piece of content that a potential customer might read to want them to click onto your website.

For those who don’t know what a meta description is, or are just learning about them, it is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines.

So, let’s dive right in and see what makes the perfect meta description…

1. Always create a unique meta description for each page on your website

It might seem quite simple however some people DON’T do this. It can be an easy way to just use the same meta description for a similar webpage, but it just doesn’t work the way you think it would.

It is preferred by many search engines to have unique meta descriptions that are relevant to your webpage. It also gives you an opportunity to specifically explain your webpage in a different way to others.

A guide to find the perfect meta description

2. Don’t exceed the character limit

Exceeding the character limit could have a negative effect on someone clicking on your webpage. You have a character limit of 50-160 before the rest of the content is cut off.  To create a catching and engaging meta description that the user will be able to see all. Nothing puts you off more when a website has the starting point of their website introduction cut in half as you can already tell they haven’t thought about this.

It will be the same with other platforms, but Yoast is a good extension used in Word Press that will automatically turn green or red depending on the length of content and whether you need to cut it down.

3. Input keywords into your meta description

Inputting keywords in your meta description could instantly give you an advantage for search engine optimization (SEO) as the search engine highlights these keywords are ranking high as search terms and can be highlighted in your meta description leading to catch the attention of a user.

SEMrush is a great tool to use when finding the best keywords that are relevant to your topic. They can be included in your meta description and even use in your page content.

4. ALWAYS make it engaging and interesting

This is the step that requires creative thinking. It’s the most important step when creating a meta description as it’s key in engaging the users. As it’s the first bit of information that they would read from your brand before clicking on your website, so it needs to stand out against the rest. Keep it short and snappy that will engage the user to want to click on your website first.


Meta descriptions are sometimes forgotten about however it could be the reason people are clicking on your website against others and why your website is ranking first on a search engine. Hopefully, this blog post can act as a guide and help you when writing your own meta description if you’re just starting out in digital marketing or even refresh your brain!

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To find other helpful blog pieces, click here for other digital information.

General Welding Level 2 Apprenticeship

General Welding Level 2 Apprenticeship

Are you eager to jump into the world of welding? If so, read on to kickstart your career in this industry.

But first, what is welding?

Welding is used significantly and in almost every sector of industry. General welders are a high demand for skilled General Welders in industry areas such as: automotive, marine, transport, general fabrication, construction, and many more.

General Welders produce items like components for cars; ships; rail vehicles; simple metallic containers; and steelwork for bridges, buildings, and gantries.

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.

What skill requirements do you need for the apprenticeship?

  • Produce good quality welds using two welding process/material type combinations
  • Receive, handle, and maintain consumables
  • 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 licenses to practice welding.
  • Achieve quality of work to meet international standards for dimensional and surface inspection (Visual, Magnetic)
  • To prepare and check the welding equipment
  • Complete and check the work ready for inspections
  • To ensure health and safety requirements are reported
General Welding Level 3 Apprenticeship

What knowledge will you gain in this apprenticeship?

  • To be aware of the basic mechanical properties and weldability.
  • To understand the common arc welding processes, joint types, and positions.
  • To understand the major components of welding equipment and the essential parameters for welding.
  • To understand the terminology, operation, and controls for the selected arc welding processes, joint types, and welding positions.
  • To be able to identify and understand the causes of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced, for the materials and welding processes selected.
  • To know the basics of welding
  • Knowing the basics of welding documents


  • A questioning attitude, to understand the processes and associated industrial applications. Maintaining competence with a commitment to Continuing Professional Development.
  • Planning and preparation to ensure production and Continuing Professional Development goals are achieved.
  • Intervention, to challenge poor practices and channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change.

Entry requirements:

Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability. Dependent on the employer, they will set their own specific selection criteria on what requirements you would need.

Generally, you are required to have successfully achieved level 1 in English and Mathematics and to have also taken your examinations at level 2 for both these subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if these had already not been achieved.

General Welders are fully competent in manual welding using at least one arc process. They are also required in a number of sectors, for example, the steelwork construction sector.


This general welding apprenticeship is a great way to start your career in the manufacturing field. You will need to understand the process as well as ensuring all goals are achieved. This apprenticeship qualification is a great starting point and being able to work your way up from. Once you are certified, this can allow you to work from anywhere in the world in any industry. This can be just the starting point of your lifelong career in welding!

For more information on engineering and manufacturing-based apprenticeship, visit our dedicated page here.

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