Making things (manufacturing) and making things work (engineering) – that’s what Apprenticeships in this sector are all about.
Naturally it's an extremely broad field, so there’s a good range of Apprenticeships to choose from. Some of the main manufacturing industries covered include textiles, food, furniture, glass, metals and printing. You could be doing anything from operating huge machines in a factory to working with hand tools in a small workshop.
All of these industries (and others) require complex machinery that needs to be designed, built and maintained – which is what you’ll learn about on an engineering Apprenticeship. Engineers come in all shapes and sizes, specialising in particular areas, such as construction and electronics.
One major part of engineering is the motor industry. After an Apprenticeship in this area, you might spray paint new sports cars, fix broken down cars and rescue stranded motorists, or even become a train driver.
Depending on your employer, you could be working in a very specialised field, or learning a broader range of skills and techniques. An Apprenticeship in this sector could see you doing anything from hand stitching a leather saddle to decommissioning a nuclear reactor – very different jobs, but both requiring high levels of skill, precision and concentration.
Manual and technical skills are important in this sector, and maths, IT and science are often relevant. You need to be good at following instructions and working as part of a team, but engineers in particular often need to use their own initiative to solve problems.