Metal Fabricator Apprenticeship Level 3 - City of Wolverhampton College

Metal Fabricator Apprenticeship Level 3

Metal Fabricator Apprenticeship Level 3

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Study Mode: Full Time Programme Component Course Level: 3
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Metal Fabricator Apprenticeship Level 3

Metal fabricators work in the advanced manufacturing engineering and engineering construction sectors, carrying out metal fabrication work using elements such as rolled steel joists, columns, channels, steel plate and metal sheet. 

Work includes manufacturing bridges, oil rigs, ships, petro-chemical installations, cranes, platforms, aircraft, automotive and machinery parts, sheet metal enclosures, equipment supports, and anything that can be fabricated out of metal.  

Metal fabricators use a large range of metals including steel, aluminium and titanium at a range of thicknesses from 0.5mm up to over 20mm. The size and weight of the fabrications can range from components that can easily be picked up by hand, to massive structures that require several cranes to manipulate.  

They can work alone or in teams, in factories or on operational sites. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with planners, supervisors, inspectors, designers, welders, pipefitters, fitters, machinists, riggers, steel erectors, stores personnel, painters and many others involved in manufacturing, production, maintenance and repair. 

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the quality and accuracy of their own work whilst ensuring it conforms to a relevant specification such as an engineering drawing or an international standard. They are also responsible for the health, safety and environmental (HS&E) protection of themselves and others around them. 

Individual employers will set their own recruitment and selection criteria. 

In order to optimise success, candidates will typically have four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or equivalent, including English, maths and a science. 



Apprentices will develop knowledge and understanding of:  

  • Importance of complying with statutory, quality, organisational and health and safety regulations. 

  • General engineering mathematical and scientific principles, methods, techniques, graphical expressions, symbols formulae and calculations. 

  • Structure, properties and characteristics of common materials. 

  • Typical problems that may arise within their normal work activities/environment. 

  • Approved diagnostic methods and techniques used to help solve engineering problems. 

  • Importance of only using current approved processes, procedures, documentation and the potential implications if they are not adhered to.

  • Different roles and functions in the organisation and how they interact. 

  • Why it is important to continually review fabrication and general engineering processes and procedures. 

  • Correct methods of moving and handling materials. 

  • Processes for preparing materials to be marked out.

  • Tools and techniques available for cutting, shaping, assembling and finishing materials.. 

  • Allowances for cutting, notching, bending, rolling and forming materials. 

  • Describing pattern development processes, tooling and equipment. 

  • Describing cutting and forming techniques, tooling and equipment.

  • Describing assembly and finishing processes, tooling and equipment. 

  • Inspection techniques that can be applied to check shape and dimensional accuracy. 

  • Factors influencing selection of forming process. 

  • Principles, procedures and testing of different joining techniques (mechanised or manual). 

  • Equipment associated with manual or mechanised joining techniques including maintaining equipment in a reliable and safe condition. 

  • Consumables used in manual or mechanised joining. 

  • Effects of heating and cooling metals. 

  • Consumables used in manual or mechanised joining. 

  • Different types of Welds and joints. 

  • Effects of heating and cooling metals.


Apprentices will develop the necessary skills enabling them to: 

  • Work safely at all times, comply with health & safety legislation, regulations and organisational requirements. 

  • Comply with environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements. 

  • Obtain, check and use the appropriate documentation (such as job instructions, drawings, quality control documentation). 

  • Carry out relevant planning and preparation activities before commencing work activity. 

  • Undertake the work activity using the correct processes, procedures and equipment. 

  • Carry out the required checks (such as quality, compliance or testing) using the correct procedures, processes and/or equipment. 

  • Deal promptly and effectively with problems within the limits of their responsibility using approved diagnostic methods and techniques and report those which cannot be resolved to the appropriate personnel. 

  • Complete any required documentation using the defined recording systems at the appropriate stages of the work activity. 

  • Restore the work area on completion of the activity and where applicable return any resources and consumables to the appropriate location. 

  • Identify and follow correct metalwork instructions, specifications, drawing etc. 

  • Mark out using appropriate tools and techniques. 

  • Cut and form metal for the production of fabricated products. 

  • Produce and assemble metal products to required specification and quality requirements. 

  • Identify and follow correct joining instructions, specifications, drawing etc. 

  • Carry out the relevant preparation before starting the joining fabrication activity. 

  • Set up, check, adjust and use joining and related equipment. 

  • Weld joints in accordance with approved welding procedures and quality requirements. 


Apprentices will demonstrate the following behaviours: 

Personal responsibility and resilience - comply with the health and safety guidance and procedures, be disciplined and have a responsible approach to risk, work diligently regardless of how much they are being supervised, accept responsibility for managing time and workload and stay motivated and committed when facing challenges. 

Work effectively in teams - integrate with the team, support other people, consider implications of their own actions on other people and the business whilst working effectively to get the task completed. 

Effective communication and interpersonal skills - an open and honest communicator, communicates clearly using appropriate methods, listen well to others and have a positive and respectful attitude. 

Focus on quality and problem solving - follow instructions and guidance, demonstrate attention to detail, follow a logical approach to problem solving and seek opportunities to improve quality, speed and efficiency. 

Continuous personal development - reflect on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seek opportunities to develop, adapt to different situations, environments or technologies and have a positive attitude to feedback and advice. 

Throughout the programme the apprentice will receive expert training from highly qualified staff.

A qualified assessor will provide an induction and regular workplace assessments. 

Completion of the qualification will enable apprentices to progress to Level 4 engineering qualifications including Higher National Certificate (HNC). 


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