General Welder Level 2 Apprenticeship

General Welder (Arc Processes)

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

Role profile
Welding is a way to make high strength joints between two or more parts. A General Welder will use high electrical energy to form an arc. Manual dexterity is essential in controlling the arc, which is used to melt metals, allowing them to fuse together to form a structurally sound weld.

Welding is used extensively and in almost every sector of industry. There is a high demand for skilled General Welders in 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 steel-work for bridges, buildings and gantries. Welding is a safety critical occupation and every welder takes responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their work. General Welders are required to produce joints that satisfy basic quality standards in order to ensure that the finished products function correctly, contributing to the safety of all and the global quality of life. Skilled, qualified, professionally certified General Welders can work anywhere in the world and provide services in harshest of environments. For these accomplished professionals, the monetary rewards can be significant.

There is a highly complex range of welding skills: the different arc welding processes require different levels of manual dexterity, knowledge and skill to avoid making defective welds. There are a wide range of metallic materials that can be welded, each with different properties and behaviours.

Information for Applicants

What knowledge and skills are covered?

General Welders will have the skill to:

  • Produce good quality welds using two welding process/material type combinations (TIG, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW) and (Carbon and Low Alloy steel, High Alloy Ferritic/Martensitic Steel, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Nickel and Nickel Alloys, Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys) in two welding positions (Downhand, Horizontal, Vertical, Overhead)
  • 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 licences to practice in welding
  • Achieve a quality of work to meet international standards for dimensional and surface inspection (Visual, Magnetic Particle Inspection and Dye Penetrant Inspection).
  • Position, prepare and check the welding equipment.
  • Receive, handle and maintain consumables
  • Prepare, check and protect materials and work area ready for welding.
  • Complete and check the finished weld ready for inspection and report into the production control system.
  • Ensure that health and safety requirements are fully accounted for in all the above.

General Welders will have the knowledge to:

  • Be aware of the basic mechanical properties and weldability of welded materials
  • Understand the common arc welding processes, joint types (fillet, lap, butt, etc.) and positions
  • Understand the major components of welding equipment and the essential parameters for welding
  • Understand the terminology, operation and controls for the selected arc welding processes, joint types and welding positions
  • Identify and understand the causes of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced, for the materials and welding processes selected
  • Understand the functions of welding consumables and the requirements for correct storage and handling
  • Be able to identify and select correct welding consumables for each application
  • Understand and identify hazards and basic health, safety and quality requirements when welding
  • Know how to interpret and work to a welding procedure specification.
  • Know the basics of welding quality documents and reporting systems.

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What are the entry requirements?

Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to successfully achieve qualifications at level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if not already achieved.

How often do I have to attend college?

College attendance will be required over the duration of the course and this will be determined post-application. This will be in conjunction with further assessment in the workplace. Our well-equipped workshops will allow apprentices to carry out practical work in a safe environment.

How will I be assessed?

The apprenticeship programme is expected to have an overall duration of 18 months (but no shorter than 16 months). Prior to undertaking the end-point assessment, apprentices will be required to undergo a sustained period of on- and/or off-the-job training provided by a recommended Training Body. There will be a mandatory three-part holistic end-point assessment starting no earlier than three months before the planned end of programme.

The three parts of the end-point assessment are as follows:

1. A theoretical knowledge test using multiple choice question papers containing generic questions relevant to all welders and specific questions relevant to the theoretical part of the skill/knowledge modules selected by the employer.

2. A practical/oral examination comprising two practical tests and an oral examination. The practical tests will be carried out in accordance with a recognised industry specification and will be in the most difficult welding positions for the skill/knowledge modules selected. The Authorised Examiner, responsible for supervising the tests, will also conduct an oral examination to assess the apprentice’s understanding of the tests he/she is undertaking and of the wider responsibilities of a welder.

3. A professional interview which is designed to do two things: firstly, to further explore the apprentice’s knowledge relevant to his/her role and, secondly, to assess if the apprentice’s occupational behaviours meet the requirements specified in the Apprenticeship Standard. Part 3 must be carried out last. In order to be successful, apprentices must pass all three parts.

What can I do next?

There are numerous pathways for General Welders who may wish to pursue higher level careers in welding. These include progression to Multi-Positional Welder, High Integrity Welder or Welding Instruction and Teaching, Welding Inspection and Managing and Supervising Welding Operations.

Information for Employers

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice General Welder?

General Welders will display the following behaviours:

  • 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.
  • Reliability and dependability to consistently deliver expectations in production, quality, work ethics and self-development.
  • Accountability, to follow the specified procedures and controls and be personally responsible for their production work and personal development.

What will this cost my business?

Since April 2017 the way that government funds apprenticeships in England has changed. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3 million are required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy monthly via HMRC.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships through providers who are registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

From April 2017 all existing apprenticeship frameworks and new apprenticeship standards (often referred to as trailblazer standards) will be allocated to Government funding bands.

Funding bands determine the maximum amount of money that Government will contribute for the training delivery and end-point assessment of each apprenticeship. All approved apprenticeship standards have already been allocated to funding bandings with maximum funding caps.

If you take on an apprentice who is between 16 and 18 years old at the start of their apprenticeship, you will receive a payment to help meet the extra costs of employing them. This will be paid to you through the training provider in two £500 instalments at 3 months and 12 months  if the apprentice continues in learning beyond this point.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account. Where there are no longer funds in this digital account the Government will co-invest 90% of the funding with the levy paying employer being the asked to contribute the remaining 10% on a monthly basis.

Levy paying employers can estimate their funding contributions through the use of the free Funding Apprenticeship Systems calculating tool.

The agreed funds will be taken from the employer’s digital account to pay the training provider, up to a maximum amount of funding allocated by Government to that particular apprenticeship.

For non-levy paying employers the Digital Apprenticeship Service will not be available until at least 2018. They will need to discuss and agree a price with their training provider.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance will be required over the duration of the course and this will be determined post-application. This will be in conjunction with further assessment in the workplace. Our well-equipped workshops will allow apprentices to carry out practical work in a safe environment.

How is the apprentice assessed?

The apprenticeship programme is expected to have an overall duration of 18 months (but no shorter than 16 months). Prior to undertaking the end-point assessment, apprentices will be required to undergo a sustained period of on- and/or off-the-job training provided by a recommended Training Body. There will be a mandatory three-part holistic end-point assessment starting no earlier than three months before the planned end of programme.

The three parts of the end-point assessment are as follows:

1. A theoretical knowledge test using multiple choice question papers containing generic questions relevant to all welders and specific questions relevant to the theoretical part of the skill/knowledge modules selected by the employer.

2. A practical/oral examination comprising two practical tests and an oral examination. The practical tests will be carried out in accordance with a recognised industry specification and will be in the most difficult welding positions for the skill/knowledge modules selected. The Authorised Examiner, responsible for supervising the tests, will also conduct an oral examination to assess the apprentice’s understanding of the tests he/she is undertaking and of the wider responsibilities of a welder.

3. A professional interview which is designed to do two things: firstly, to further explore the apprentice’s knowledge relevant to his/her role and, secondly, to assess if the apprentice’s occupational behaviours meet the requirements specified in the Apprenticeship Standard. Part 3 must be carried out last. In order to be successful, apprentices must pass all three parts.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work-based tasks

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Apprenticeships – What we can offer

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are expert at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical tutors.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

Apprenticeship Reform Events

General Welder Level 2 Apprenticeship
LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationTypically 18 months
CampusColchester Institute
Start DateStarting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year however the start-date for attending college for training, where required, will be communicated post-employment and sign-up
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£9,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£900
What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee.
Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.