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What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineers design, produce, repair and maintain machinery using a wide range of tools and working with drawings such as CAD designs.

Jobs could take you out of this world into spacecraft, robotics or keep you down to earth working on vital heating systems and medical devices.


According to the National Career Service, a qualified mechanical engineer's salary can start from £22,000 and increase to £55,000 once experienced.

As an apprentice, you will be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage by your employer during your studies.

Mechanical Maintenance

Available in Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe

Mechanical engineers will maintain the safety, integrity, and effective operation of plant and equipment in engineering and manufacturing industries that are part of or have activities that are part of the broader Mechanical Engineering Sector.

Mechanical Technicians will work on various types of plant and equipment commonly found throughout the Engineering Industry sectors and the Technicians can be expected to migrate through these sectors during the course of their careers.

Mechanical Technicians key responsibilities include:
  • Position, assemble, install and dismantle mechanical plant and equipment which will include pumps, valves, gearboxes, pipework, to agreed specifications
  • Carry out planned, unplanned and preventative maintenance procedures on mechanical plant and equipment.
  • Replace, repair and/or remove components in mechanical plant and equipment and ensure its return to operational condition.
  • Diagnose and determine the cause of faults in mechanical plant and equipment
How does the Mechanical Maintenance programme work?

During the first year of a HETA apprenticeship, learners will be based at the HETA training centre. For the first 8 months, learners will undertake a multi-skilled engineering programme including Mechanical and Electrical engineering. The last 3 months will consist of undertaking specialised training in mechanical engineering.

  • 4 days a week in a practical workshop
  • 1 day a week in a classroom-based environment underpinning knowledge to complete a Level 3 qualification.

In years 2 and 3, apprentices will spend the remainder of their time of the HETA programme at their sponsored company. During this time, apprentices will be assessed via:

  • Portfolio work-based assessments
  • Engineering Assessor to review apprentices progression in the sponsored company (help with support and mentoring)
  • End Point Assessments (final assessment to ensure apprentices can do the job they have been training for - Skills, Knowledge, and Behaviour)

Machining - New Programme

Available in Grimsby only.

Machinists are involved in highly-skilled, complex, and precision work, machining components from specialist materials using machining tools such as centre lathes & milling machines.

Those on the machining programme will complete units of Computer Aided Design, turning, and milling as well as CNC.

Machinist Technicians key responsibilities include:
  • read and interpret relevant data and documentation used to produce machined components
  • determine the most efficient and effective approach to machine the component using a range of tools, machining process and Techniques
  • select and set up the correct tooling and work holding devices
  • set and adjust the machine operating parameters to produce the workpieces to the required specification. This will involve setting feeds and speeds for roughing and finishing operations
  • select and use a range of measuring and testing equipment to check components are to the required quality and accuracy
  • produce complex and specialist components as a one off test and trial workpiece and/or produce components in small or large batches
  • contribute to the business by identifying possible opportunities for improving working practices, processes and/or procedures
How does the Machining programme work?

Learners will train at HETA for the first six months of their programme. The training plan will include:

  • Producing components using hand fitting techniques.
  • Preparing and using CNC milling machines, lathes fr turning operation, proving CNC machine toll programmes.
  • Working efficiently and effectively within an engineering environment.
  • Preparing and using the lathe for turning operation.
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Engineering Mathematics and Science principles.

From March to July in the first year, learners will spend 3 weeks a month in their company completing their level 3 competence diploma portfolio under block release. Learners must be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced manual turning techniques
  • Advanced manual milling techniques
  • Engineering inspection and quality control.

For the remainder of the apprenticeship, learners will spend four days a week in their company completing their level 3 competence diploma portfolio. Learners will return back to HETA following day release and learn the following:

  • Health and safety in engineering.
  • Communications for engineering
  • Mathematics for technicians
  • Properties and applications of engineering materials
  • Computer Aided Design in engineering.

Progression Opportunities

As well as Level 3 qualifications, HETA also offers a two-year Higher National Certificate (Level 4) and a one-year Higher National Diploma (Level 5). Learners may have the opportunity to enroll on the following programme within the second year of their apprenticeship programme. HNC’s and HND’s are a great route to moving on to higher-level qualifications; you can do extra studies working with our university partners to top up the HND into a full degree.

Completing Higher level qualifications like HNC’s and HND’s gives you great opportunities in your career. Not only are you more competent but also gives you a stepping stone into senior and management roles.

Our applications are now open for our mechanical apprenticeship programme for September 2022. Find out how you can apply here.

Engineering Training

HETA offers a wide range of industry standard courses designed to up-skill and retain existing members of staff

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