Here are the answers to some common questions about Apprenticeships – and the Fork Lift Truck Engineering apprenticeship in particular.
If you can't find the answer you're looking for, there's also a lot of useful, general information – including a more detailed FAQ – at the National Apprenticeship Service website... or feel free to contact us on the number and email address below.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience at the same time. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you also gain practical skills from the workplace.
Where is it available?
The Forklift Engineering Apprenticeship is provided at the T-TEC training centre in Swindon.
What qualification will I receive?
IMI Modern Apprenticeship in Maintenance and Repair (Lift Truck), at the Advanced Level (level 3 equivalent).
Some apprentices carry on for an extra year, and progress to the Higher level.
What are the entry requirements?
There are no absolute requirements: F-TEC staff and the employer will need to work out whether each candidate is suitable for the course.
However, this is a technical apprenticeship so it needs sound knowledge of maths and science with good English skills. The Advanced apprenticeship is set at “A Level” standards so you will need to be able to work at this level.
How long does it take?
An Advanced Level apprenticeship like this takes three years to complete.
What will I earn?
It varies from employer to employer, but most fork lift truck engineering apprentices earn around £150 per week while they’re training.
Once qualified, an engineer can expect to start on about £350 per week.
(These estimates are based on a survey of apprentice employers in June 2012.)
Is there an upper age limit?
There is no definite age limit, but government funding decreases after the age of 18 and is unlikely to be available at all after the age of 24 – which is a consideration for colleges and employers.
Since most apprentices are aged 16-18, you should also feel comfortable working alongside people of this age group.
Do I need to study away from home?
It is expected that you will spend 5 weeks (Sunday to Friday) away per year.
Who is responsible for my safety?
Your employer has a duty to ensure you’re safe while you’re at work, in the same way as any other employee. When you’re at college, you’ll come under the safeguarding arrangements there.
What happens at the end of my course?
Successful apprentices receive a nationally recognised qualification, and most go on to have a long and successful career at the company where they've been employed throughout their course.
Does it matter when I apply?
The college year starts in September or October, and it works best if you are already comfortably established with your employer before this starts – at least a month or two, preferably more.
The application and recruitment process can take many months and some employers may be willing to take on an apprentice 6 months or more before the college course starts, so the earlier you start the better.
The best thing to do is to register your interest as soon as possible, as this gives you the most options.
How do I apply?
The best way is to fill out this form, to register your interest with Karl Baum Associates.
This doesn’t commit you to anything, but will get things started, and help them match you to potential vacancies and employers.