Thomas Lavender
Budding engineers and electricians are being invited to apply for new full time courses and apprenticeships starting this September with @engineeringSWDT

South West Durham Training, which has been training young engineers for more than 50 years and is graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, is launching new electrical, engineering and mechanical training provision and is taking applications and expressions of interest now.

It is one of the first in the North East to offer the new Level 4 Engineering Manufacturing Technician Higher Apprenticeship. The three year standard is aimed at engineers already with a Level 3 BTEC or equivalent, who will qualify with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Engineering or Manufacturing.

Both school leavers and those already employed who have a GCSE in Engineering will also this autumn for the first time be able to directly enrol onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering at SWDT, another new addition.

The Newton Aycliffe engineering training provider, part of the Bishop Auckland College Group, is also launching a new Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation, a one year full time course aimed at young people looking at a career as a domestic or commercial electrician who do not yet have an employer.

Stuart Johnson, CEO of SWDT, said: “Whether you are a school leaver with an engineering GCSE or simply have an interest in becoming an electrician - or are already working in engineering or manufacturing and are looking for a higher education qualification - these new additions to our training offer could be the ideal next step for you.

“Similarly, we would like to hear from employers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors who are interested in upskilling their staff. You don’t have to be in traditional engineering; it could also be food and drink, supply chain logistics etc.

“We are offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship at a very competitive rate and the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering can be studied on day release with your apprentice in the workplace up to four days per week.”

Thomas Lavender, 20, of Billingham, (pictured) is in the third year of an Advanced Apprenticeship (Engineering Design and Draughtsperson) with SWDT, which will give him a Level 4 HNC qualification. His employer is M5tec, a bespoke engineering design solutions company specialising in areas including nuclear, oil and gas, and renewable energies.

Thomas left school unsure as to which Engineering pathway he wanted to go down either the academic or vocational. He said: “I chose a mix of the two, and went and did a two-year BTEC Level 3 in Engineering. When the opportunity of an Apprenticeship as CAD designer came up locally, I took it.

“As M5tec have invested their time in me, and continue to do so, I feel I am an integral part of its  ongoing growth.”


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