Manufacturing Engineer Degree Apprenticeship Level 6

A Manufacturing Engineer will primarily support the activities involved in bringing design programmes into manufacture. This role is pivotal to the planning, launch and smooth delivery of exciting new products or product refresh programmes. The focus is on the advanced manufacturing techniques and project management skills required to launch products on time, on cost and to the right quality. Typically Manufacturing Engineers work closely with a range of other engineers, functions and managers both within their own company and supplier base.

Professional Recognition and Career Progression:

This standard has been designed to meet the professional standards of the Engineering Council for initial registration as an Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) in partnership with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Further professional development and registration is subject to candidates successfully completing the appropriate learning, developing the appropriate competence, and undergoing professional review.

When Can I Start an Apprenticeship?

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

Starting an apprenticeship is dependent on your age and whether you have secured an offer of an apprenticeship from an employer.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school, but you cannot start until you have officially left school and completed your exams.

You need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start the apprenticeship. You may start an apprenticeship at 15 years of age if your 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31st August and provided you have completed your exams.

Provided you have left school and have an employment offer in place, then starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year.

If you successfully apply for a vacancy, you may be able to start employment straight away.

Likewise, if you are already in employment and your employer is looking to train you through an apprenticeship, sign-up and enrolment can take place quite quickly.

However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship.

Some apprenticeships will have fixed attendance with training on-campus commencing at the start of the autumn term, with no availability for starting the training mid-year.

For other apprenticeships where the training is delivered entirely online, it may be possible to commence the training immediately.

Whichever delivery method applies, this will be communicated to you and your employer post-employment and sign-up.

Course Info
How to Apply
Employers Info
Vocational Skills

Vocational Skills:

During the Foundation stage the apprentice must develop a solid grasp of the core engineering skills. These skills will not only prepare the apprentice for the workplace in demonstrating that they have the required manual dexterity to do their core role but their competencies are transferable and can be built upon over time. The skills required are:

  • Complying with statutory regulations and stringent organisational safety requirements
  • Producing components using hand fitting, fabrication and joining techniques
  • Producing Computer Aided Design (CAD) models (drawings) using a CAD system
  • Preparing and using lathes, milling and other general or specialist machines and high tech equipment
  • Preparing and proving Computer Numeric Control programmes
  • Using computer software packages to assist with and evaluate engineering activities
  • Producing and managing engineering project plans
  • Producing assemblies using a wide range of materials and techniques

During the development stage they would hone their general engineering skills, along with the likes of experimental / new model development, component investigation and problem solving, measurement, control & inspection. With all of these skills, they will be using a logical and systematic approach.

On successful completion of the above, the apprentice will then progress to develop their skills in:

  • Project management and scheduling engineering activities
  • Securing appropriate resources and managing budgets and resources
  • Implementing, monitoring and evaluating engineering processes
Academic Knowledge

Academic Knowledge:

The apprentice would complete a HND or Foundation Degree which would provide the foundation stage of the knowledge elements in the competence qualification It will support the fundamental scientific and mathematical principles that equip apprentices with the understanding required to operate effectively and efficiently at high level within this sector. As a core the engineer needs to cover around 960 academic Guided Learning Hours, in order to have a solid grasp of;-

  • Mathematics and science for engineers
  • Materials and manufacture
  • 3D Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Engineering
  • How to run and manage business led projects
  • Engineering operations and business management
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Product improvement and engineering project management

For the Development Phase the apprentice will build on their foundation knowledge by completing a BEng (Hons) in Engineering. Here they will expand their understanding to a higher level and commence on specialised modules during the latter part of this qualification.

Occupational Behaviours

Manufacturing Engineer Occupational Behaviours:

Modern high value engineering organisations require their apprentices to have a set of occupational behaviours that will ensure success both in their current and future roles and in meeting the overall company objectives. These required behaviours include:

Safety mindset: This occupation sits within an industry with a high level of safety critical activities. There has to be strict compliance and a disciplined and responsible approach to manage, mitigate and avoid risk.

Strong work ethic: Positive attitude, motivated by engineering; dependable, ethical, responsible and reliable.

Logical approach: Able to structure a plan and develop activities following a logical thought process, but also able to quickly “think on feet” when working through them.

Problem solving orientation: Identifies issues quickly, enjoys solving complex problems and applies appropriate solutions. Has a strong desire to push to ensure the true root cause of any problem is found and a solution identified which prevents further recurrence.

Quality focus: Follows rules, procedures and principles in ensuring work completed is fit for purpose and pays attention to detail / error checks throughout activities.

Personal responsibility and resilience: Motivated to succeed accountable and persistent to complete task.

Clear communicator: Use a variety of appropriate communication methods to give/receive information accurately, and in a timely and positive manner.

Team player: Not only plays own part but able to work and communicate clearly and effectively within a team and interacts/ helps others when required. In doing so applies these skills in a respectful professional manner.

Applies Lean Manufacturing Principles: Continuous improvement in driving effectiveness and efficiency

AdaptabilityAble to adjust to different conditions, technologies, situations and environments.

Self-Motivation: A ‘self-starter’, who always wants to give their best, sets themselves challenging targets, can make their own decisions.

Willingness to learnwants to drive their continuous professional development

Commitment: Able to commit to the beliefs, goals and standards of their own employer and to the wider industry and its professional standards.

Training and Development Summary

Training and Development Summary:

There will be two phases of training to ensure that apprentices meet this Apprenticeship standard, in line with specified employer requirements. The foundation phase will be intensive off the job training focused on developing the apprentice’s core skills, knowledge and behaviour, allowing them to work effectively with supervision in a largely simulated working environment. This stage will require typically 1400 Vocational Guided Learning Hours, building up from basics to more complex engineering operations and practices. The tasks will be aligned to the job role to develop a range of tailored core engineering techniques so by the end of this phase the apprentice will be able to demonstrate, under independent test conditions, that they can deploy their skills and occupational behaviours. In addition the apprentice typically undertakes an HND or Foundation Degree.

The development phase will focus on applying the apprentice’s on-job vocational competence supported by further guided learning, enabling them to eventually work effectively without the need for close supervision. The competencies gained are sufficiently transferable by the end of this development phase for someone to adapt quickly to function effectively after minimal instruction on new equipment / environments or revised working practices, whilst completing an Engineering Degree. There will be an employer endorsement as part of the final assessment of this phase to ensure that the apprentice has demonstrated full competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviours in this standard. The employer will sign off that the apprentice is ‘job ready’ as a competent professional Manufacturing Engineer.

Entry Requirements

What are the entry requirements?

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeships. In order to optimise success candidates will typically have 5 GCSE’s at Grade C or above, including Mathematics, English and a Science, Technology or Engineering related subject, as well as A Levels at grade C or above in both a Mathematical based subject and a Science, Technology, Engineering or additional Mathematics related subject, or 90+ credits in an Engineering BTEC at level 3.

Assessment

Assessment: Months 1 – 65

On-Programme Learning and Development

This is the period of learning, development, coaching and performance review takes place throughout the duration
of the apprenticeship.

Mandatory Qualifications

  • BEng Degree specified by the employer and accredited by an Engineering Council licenced Professional Engineering Institution (PEI). Employers may wish to use a degree that has yet to achieve PEI accreditation. However, the intention is to do so and a PEI must have been involved and consulted on the content from the outset.
  • Level 2 in English and mathematics. For those with an education, health and care  plan or a legacy statement the English and mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

Readiness for the End-point Assessment. (Gateway)

The independent end-point assessment is synoptic, as it takes an overview of an apprentice’s occupational competence. It is important, therefore, that this should only take place when the employer is confident that the apprentice has met all the knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out in the standard and is performing competently in their job role.

The employer confirms that the apprentice is ready to progress to end-point assessment.

Readiness for end-point assessment is confirmed once the employer is satisfied the apprentice has demonstrated occupational competence against all the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the standard, completed the portfolio of evidence and achieved the mandated qualifications.

The employer authenticates and confirms that the content in the Case Studies Presentation and supporting evidence (Method 1) and apprentice report and supporting evidence to be used in the Occupational Professional Discussion (Method 2) is the apprentices own work and is an accurate reflection of their knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The End-Point Assessment Organisation confirms that the mandatory qualifications have been achieved. The apprentice can then progress to the end-point assessment via the apprenticeship gateway (decision point).

Assessment: Months 66 – 72

The occupational competence assessment is based on two assessment components – through an approved End-Point Assessment Organisation.

  • Method 1. Case Studies Presentation
  • Method 2. Occupational Professional Discussion
College Attendance

How often do I have to attend college?

Attendance at University Centre Colchester will be required and will be communicated post-employment and enrolment. This will allow apprentices to have lectures and workshops for their degree modules.

How do I apply for a degree apprenticeship?

How you apply for a degree apprenticeship is dependent on whether or not you’re currently employed.

Unlike applying for a traditional degree programme which runs between fixed points within the year, there is no fixed cycle for making a degree apprenticeship application. The recruitment processes will normally begin at the start of the calendar year with studies commencing in September.

An Apprenticeship is a job. This means that employers are ultimately responsible for recruiting for the position, which includes how and where they advertise the vacancy. Organisations will normally start to advertise roles for degree apprenticeships from the previous autumn.

Both the employer and the training provider will need to be satisfied that applicants meet both the entry requirements for the course and the criteria for the role, with recruitment often being done jointly by the two parties.

Can I apply with my current employer?

If you’re in full-time employment with an organisation that can accommodate a degree apprenticeship, and would like to undertake one with your current employer, then we can help with the next steps.

Please ask your employer to complete our Employer enquiry form. We will then discuss with them about how they can integrate a degree apprenticeship into their business and support your studies.

Once your employer has confirmed that they can support the programme and that they are happy with your academic suitability to study for a degree through an apprenticeship, please use the ‘Apply Online’ button located in the next menu.

This will allow us to confirm your suitability, both academic and professional, for starting the programme.

How do I apply with a new employer?

If you’re not employed full-time or with a company that can fund and support a degree apprenticeship, then you’ll need to apply to undertake a degree apprenticeship with a company that can offer one.

You’ll follow their standard recruitment process and we’ll assess your academic suitability for the course once you’ve applied.

Where do I look for a degree apprenticeship vacancy?

Degree apprenticeship vacancies, created with companies we work with, are listed on our website as and when they become available.

You can also receive notifications for when our partner employers have any live vacancies in your industry by joining our Apprenticeship Talent Pool.

As with other apprenticeships, employers may choose to advertise their degree apprenticeship on the Gov.UK ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website, where you can search and apply directly for apprenticeships of interest:

‘Find an apprenticeship’ website.

Information for Employers

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work- based tasks and build a portfolio of supporting evidence.

Apprenticeships FAQ

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in a loyal, motivated work force Increase productivity by developing staff skills and expertise.

Value for money: a cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation.

Cost saving: we can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs.

An industry recognised professional qualification can be built into the course which your apprentice will bring back to the business, providing value for money and a return on investment in their career as well as bringing back up to date knowledge from college.

What is expected of the employer?

When taking on an apprentice, there are certain expectations that must be met by the both the employer and the apprentice. As the employer, you are expected to:

  • Pay the minimum wage for an apprentice
  • Provide a full contract of employment for your apprentice
  • Offer the same benefits package to your apprentice as other employees
  • Arrange for a workplace mentor for your apprentice
  • Deliver a safe working environment
  • Ensure opportunities are made available to allow the learning of new skills and knowledge within the apprentice’s contracted working hours
  • Ensure the apprentice is given opportunities within contracted working hours to develop maths and English skills, where a GCSE grade A-C (or higher) has not been previously attained

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers can access levy funds to pay for this programme, and our blended learning model can contribute to the 20% off- the-job training requirement.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy.

  • 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.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an Advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Where applicable, non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over*

*For non-levy paying employers full government funding is available for an apprentice aged between 16-21 years old and apprentices aged between 22-24 years old who have either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or has been in the care of their local authority, where the employer employs less than 50 employees. 

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice in the workplace.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance where required will be communicated post-application and enrolment.

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

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts 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 comprehensive service, we offer:

  • Fee-Free Recruitment Service: We offer recruitment assistance at no cost to you.
  • Advertisement of Apprenticeship Vacancies: We’ll promote your apprenticeship opportunities to attract the right candidates.
  • Application Management: We handle applications according to your unique criteria, ensuring a streamlined process.
  • Candidate Matching: Leveraging our extensive network, we can identify and recommend suitable candidates.
  • Pre-screening: We conduct initial assessments to ensure candidates meet course requirements.
  • Advice on Grants and Funding.

In addition, our team provides:

  • Dedicated Account Manager: You’ll have a single point of contact for personalised support.
  • Industry-Experienced Trainers: Our trainers bring real-world expertise to deliver high-quality training.
  • Bespoke Programmes: We can tailor apprenticeship programmes to align with your business goals.
  • Essex Priority Skills Focus: Our programmes are designed to address the priority skills needs of the Essex region.
  • Free Employer Events: Take advantage of networking opportunities and stay updated on industry trends through our free events.
  • Personalised Apprenticeship Levy Advice: Receive expert advice tailored to your specific needs.
  • Ongoing Support: Our team conducts regular visits, providing support and guidance to both you and your apprentice.

Partner with Colchester Institute to unlock the full potential of apprenticeships for your business. Let us help you find the right talent and develop the workforce you need for success.

Off-The-Job Training FAQ

Off-the-Job Training (OJT) is one of the key requirements for all apprenticeship standards.

Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted working hours undertaking Off-the-Job Training, which is defined as “learning undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads toward the achievement of an apprenticeship.”

Off-the-Job Training must be directly relevant to the apprentice’s programme and teach them new knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them reach competence in their occupation and ensure that apprentices are actively learning and working to attain the required knowledge and skills within their sector while enrolled in their placement program.

What does Off-the-Job Training Look Like?

Off-the-Job Training must account for at least 20% of an apprentice’s contracted working hours within their full-time employment as an apprentice.

This means that their time might be broken down like the below:

  • 5 x 7 working hours in a day = 35 working hours in a week
  • 52 working weeks in a year x 35 working hours = 1820 total working hours in a year
  • 20% Off-the-Job Training requirement of the 1820 hours = 364 hours dedicated to OJT over the course of the apprenticeship
  • This is also equivalent to the apprentice spending one day per week during their 12-month apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training

The above depends on their contracted working hours within the day and/or working week, as well as the length of their programme.

For example, Apprentices working more hours in the day and the week, as well as those whose programmes are longer than 12 months in duration, then their Off-the-Job Training requirement will still consist of 20% of their contracted hours but the total number of working hours and total time dedicated to OJT will be different the above.

Why is Off-the-Job Training Conducted within the Apprentice’s Contracted Hours?

An apprenticeship is a work-based programme, and any training that contributes towards an apprentice’s development should be included in their contracted working hours.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said that it would be unreasonable to expect an apprentice to undertake training that is part of their apprenticeship in their own time, therefore if training must take place outside of the apprentice’s working hours, then this should be recognised by both the Employer and Training Provider.

An example of this would be if an apprentice has to attend a 2-hour lecture scheduled after their working hours, then arrangements should be made by the training provider and employer for the apprentice to make up the time by leaving work 2 hours early.

What does Off-the-Job Training Include?

Off-the-Job Training can include a number of activities that can take place on or off the employer’s normal work premises.

If you are unsure of whether an activity can be regarded as Off-the-Job Training, the below questions form a useful point of reference:

  • Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship?
  • Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?
  • Is the learning taking place in the apprentice’s contracted working hours?

If the answers to the questions are all yes, then this counts as towards OJT. These can include:

The Teaching of Theory

This can include lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning, manufacturer training and so on. Teaching theory should help the apprentice better understand their role, the topics and subjects relevant to their role and their sector in more detail.

Practical Training

This can include shadowing, mentoring, industry visits, attendance at competitions and so on. This training should practically train the apprentice and teach them skills that they can use in their current job or in a future position.

Learning Support

This refers to learning support provided by the Employer or the Training Provider. Some apprentices may require more assistance in their programme to help them reach their best potential. This includes time spent conducting projects, writing assignments and so on.

Learning support counts towards OJT to ensure that all individuals have the support needed and that all barriers to education and training are removed. This could include:

  • physical adjustments
  • access to accessibility software
  • additional revision classes
  • personal support from their Training Provider.

Time spent on assignments is also included in OJT as new knowledge, skills and behaviours can be developed while completing them.

While OJT takes place outside of normal working duties, it is possible to undergo OJT at the apprentice’s workstation. For example, OJT could include learning to use a new machine or undertaking e-learning. While conducting this training, normal working duties should not be required of the apprentice.

Off-the-Job Training can also take place at home via distance learning. If there is a program of study that the apprentice can complete online that contributes to the completion of their apprenticeship, as long as the learning package is included as part of a blended learning programme, this can be counted as an OJT activity.

The activity that the apprentice undertakes is the main focus of OJT. As long as the OJT activity actively contributes to the completion of the apprenticeship, the location matters less than the activity itself.

Essentially OJT is Employers or Training Providers setting aside time for the apprentice to improve themselves, their knowledge and/or their skills.

Off-the-Job Training cannot include:

  • Enrolment
  • Induction, including any basic safety, compliance or diversity training
  • Training to acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours that are not required in the standard or framework
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard
  • Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s working hours*
  • English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately
  • Time spent on compulsory activities in the apprenticeship, including time spent on English and Maths qualifications

(*although, as mentioned before, there are exceptions if this time is made up within their working hours)

The government acknowledges that apprentices will inevitably want to spend time outside of working hours to familiarise themselves with their work. However, any personal initiative shown by the apprentice will not count towards Off-the-Job Training.

Any time that an apprentice takes to conduct OJT is counted towards their normal working hours. That means that if an apprentice is interested in undertaking training outside of their working hours, they should ask their Employer and Training Provider first and see if arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Preparing for Off-the-Job Training?

It is the responsibility of the Employer and Training Provider to ensure that the apprentice spends 20% of their apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training. Completion of OJT must be documented and evidenced in order for the apprentice to complete the apprenticeship.

In order to comply with the funding rules, each apprentice should receive a commitment statement from the Employer/Training Provider outlining the program of training the apprentice will receive and how the Employer/Training Provider intends to spend the Off-the-Job Training time. The recipient of ESFA funding (usually the main provider) should keep, update and maintain the relevant files.

The ESFA will remain flexible about the type of evidence that should be retained and provided. They want Training Providers and Employers to use naturally occurring evidence where it is available. Many Training Providers have their own systems of collecting and storing evidence. Some examples of naturally occurring evidence might include:

  • Apprentice timesheets
  • Training logs
  • Registers
  • HR training systems

For more details and examples on how to proceed with Off-the-Job Training, you can click here to see the full OJT document from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Funding and Financial Support FAQ

How is the Apprenticeship funded?

The Government funds apprenticeships using the apprenticeship funding rules in place on the date the apprenticeship started. This applies to all employers, both those who pay the apprenticeship levy and those who do not.

Employers choose the training they would like their apprentice to receive throughout their apprenticeship. All new starts must follow an approved apprenticeship standard.

Each apprenticeship standard is in a funding band. These funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000.

Employers can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.

The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You pay the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year.

Every employer who pays the levy has a digital account where they can access their levy funds to spend on apprenticeship training.

While only the biggest businesses pay the levy, the funding generated by it also funds apprenticeship training for other employers who want to take on apprentices.

For smaller employers – those with a total annual pay bill of less than £3 million – government funding pays between 95% and 100% of the apprentice training costs, up to the funding band maximum.

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Where applicable, non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

For new starts from 1 April 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August)
  • 22 and 24 years old and: – has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority; and – their employer has fewer than 50 employees

For starts before 31 March 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 18 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August); or
  • 19 and 24 years old and has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentice who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over

For more information about funding bands, please visit Apprenticeship Funding Bands.

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

You’ll make payments directly to the training provider and agree on a payment schedule. Payment plans and schedules can be discussed with our apprenticeship Account Managers prior to signing contracts. For more information about apprenticeship contribution fees please contact one of our Apprenticeship Advisers on 01206 712043.

Apprentice Minimum Wage

A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship.

As of April 1st 2024 the national minimum wage for apprentices is £6.40 an hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum wage rate if they’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.

Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage. If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 21 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 20 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 21 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.

 21 and over18 to 20Under 18Apprentice
April 2024£11.44£8.60£6.40£6.40

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.40.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £11.44

Previous rates

The following rates were for the National Living Wage (previously for those aged 25 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from April 2016.

From 1st April 2021 the National Living Wage was extended to 23 and 24 year olds and from 1st April 2024 the National Living Wage was extended to 21 and 22 year olds.

Financial Information and Support

Government support

Employers are not required to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for an apprentice, if the apprentice:

  • is under 25 years old
  • is on an approved UK government apprenticeship standard or framework (these can differ depending on UK country)
  • earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year)

Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them will be able to train 16-18-year-old apprentices without making a contribution towards the costs of training. The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals.

Funding

The government will pay employers, no matter what size, £1,000 for each 16-18 year old apprentice they employ.

Eligibility 

All employers are eligible for a £1,000 payment for taking on an apprentice who is either:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

This £1000 payment will be paid to your training provider and you will receive it from them.

When you’ll get paid

We’ll send the payment in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice.

To be eligible, your apprentice must complete:

  • 90 days of their apprenticeship for your first payment
  • 365 days of their apprenticeship for your second payment

Once the apprenticeship information has been checked, we will process the payments.

Payments will be made on the 14th working day of the month, it can take up to 3 days for the payments to reach your account.

You can track when your payments are due to be paid on your view applications page.

We cannot send any payments until we’ve received and verified the organisation and finance details. This could take up to 80 days.

The apprenticeship levy
The levy was introduced on 6 April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employers’ pay bill, paid through PAYE on a monthly basis.

Each employer has a levy allowance of £15,000, this is not a cash payment. It works in a similar way to the personal tax allowance and cannot be used to purchase apprenticeship training.

The impact of the allowance means that fewer than 1.3% of UK employers, those with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, are liable to pay the levy. Employers in England who pay the levy
will be able to get out more than they pay in, through a 10% top-up to their online accounts.

An employer’s pay bill is made up of the total amount of the employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions, such as:

– wages
– bonuses
– commissions
– pension contributions

What about non-levy paying employers?

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy.

At least 90% of non-levy paying employers’ apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid for by the government. The government will ask these employers to make a 5% contribution to the cost, paid directly to the provider, and the government covers the rest. This cost will be spread over the lifetime of the apprenticeship.

For new starts from 1st April 2024, where the employer does not pay the apprenticeship levy, the government will fund all of the apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who are aged between 16 and 21 years old when they start their apprenticeship training. This removes the need for non-levy paying employers to pay the 5% co-investment cost of training if they meet the below:

  • Employers who do not pay the levy, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August).
  • Employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 22 and 24 years old and has either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan provided by local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority.

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentices who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

Apprenticeship funding changes for SMEs

As of the 1st of April 2024, the government will now fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 22 (previously only up to 18) – reducing costs and burdens to the business and delivering more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers.

Manufacturing Engineer Degree Apprenticeship Level 6
Course Outline: A Manufacturing Engineer will primarily support the activities involved in bringing design programmes into manufacture.

If you are ready to make an application then please click the Apply Online button in the menu below.

LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
DurationTypically 5 to 6 years. This duration may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience and/or someone already part qualified. Alternatively this may also be a progression route from a relevant Advanced Apprenticeship.
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2024
ApplicationsApplications for September 2024 are open now.
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£27,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£1,350

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

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.