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Metal Fabricator - Level 3 Apprenticeship

This Level 3 Apprenticeship is suitable for anyone who is working or wishing to work as a Fabricator, Sheet Metal Worker or Welder.
4 years
Greater Manchester SkillCentre, Trafford Park

The broad purpose of the occupation is to carry out metal fabrication work using things such as rolled steel joists, columns, channels, steel plates and metal sheets.

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. Fabricators can work alone or in teams, in factories or on operational sites.

Fabricators use a large range of metals including steel, aluminium and titanium at a range of thicknesses from 0.5mm up to over 20mm.

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. Fabricators are also responsible for the health, safety and environmental (HS&E) protection of themselves and others around them.

When does the course start?

Please get in touch with us to find out when the next course will start.

What does the course cover?

On this apprenticeship, you will cover the following knowledge, skills and behaviours.


  • The 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
  • The structure, properties and characteristics of common materials
  • The typical problems that may arise within their normal work activities/environment
  • Approved diagnostic methods and techniques used to help solve engineering problems
  • The importance of only using current approved processes, procedures, documentation and the potential implications if they are not adhered to
  • The 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
  • The correct methods of moving and handling materials
  • Processes for preparing materials to be marked out
  • The tools and techniques available for cutting, shaping, assembling and finishing materials.
  • Allowances for cutting, notching, bending, rolling and forming materials
  • Describe Pattern development processes, tooling and equipment
  • Describe Cutting and forming techniques, tooling and equipment
  • Describe 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
  • Metallurgy associated with joining
  • Different types of Welds and joints
  • How to interpret relevant engineering data and documentation


  • 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, drawings etc.
  • Mark out using appropriate tools and techniques
  • Cut and form Metal for the production of fabricated products
  • Produce and assemble Metal products to the required specification and quality requirements
  • Identify and follow correct joining instructions, specifications, drawings 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



  • 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, communicate 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.
What will I achieve?

On successful completion, you will achieve a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • IMechE for Eng Tech
  • IET for Eng Tech
  • Royal Aeronautical Society for Eng Tech
What are the entry requirements?

You must have a Level 2 Engineering related qualification and a GCSE grade A*-C or 4-9 in GCSE maths and English.

How much does the course cost?

There is no fee for the learner. For information on costs to the employer, please contact us.

T. 0161 876 3300