Notice to 2023/24 Applicants

Please note that applications for 2023/24 open on 20th October after our first Open Evening.

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About Finding an Employer

You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.

If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship while you continue to look. We can offer you advice on how to successfully secure an apprenticeship with an employer.


The Autocare Technician Apprenticeship provides you with a fantastic start to your automotive career. You will not only gain expertise in the technical elements but also learn excellent customer service skills which will open doors to an extensive range of future career options for you.

Am I ready to start?

You should have a keen interest in cars and everything associated with them. You should also have the ability to work in an organised and methodical way to identify and solve problems and have excellent communicate skills.

Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for level 2 prior to taking their apprenticeship end-point assessment.

Safety boots and overalls are required for the practical elements of this Apprenticeship.

How does an Apprenticeship Work?

An apprenticeship programme is delivered via a mixture of on and off the job training, whereby you can apply your skills in real work contexts.

The apprenticeship programme usually consists of the following elements:

Knowledge element
This is the technical certificate and covers the theory side of your work which is delivered when you attend College, so that you can put these newly acquired skills into practice at work.

Competence element
This is the practical side of the programme and is assessed directly within the workplace by a Harlow College Assessor to ensure that you are developing your skills within the workplace and putting all that you learn at College into practice

Functional skills
This area covers English and mathematics

The duration of the course is 2 years at Level 2 (Intermediate) and a further 2 years at Level 3 (Advanced). You will attend College for 1 day a week and you be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.

What does the course involve?

You will carry out a range of services and repairs to cars, car derived vans and light goods vehicles, working in an Autocare or “'ast-Fit' Centre, which may be part of a national chain or operated by a regional/local independent group/owner.

An Autocare Technician requires a unique combination of technical, retail and customer service skills. You will use a range of tools, measuring and diagnostic equipment to identify & repair simple system faults.

The Autocare Technician has to demonstrate expertise not only in the technical elements of their role and have a good grasp of the practical and theoretical aspects of the vehicle systems they service, but also needs to have excellent telephone, customer service (including how to handle difficult customers and deal with customers’ disappointment) and effective sales skills, as well as strong problem solving and self-organisation skills.
You must be able to work as part of a team but also operate independently, understand how their centre operates from a commercial perspective and how their actions contribute to business results, whilst maintaining a high standard of workmanship. 

How and when will I study?

During your Apprenticeship you will attend college one day per week where you will learn and develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for this role.  Formative assessments will take place throughout your learning.  You will also build a portfolio of evidence which will be used as part of your final assessment (EPA).

EPA is the final stage that an apprentice goes through to complete their apprenticeship.

It consists of a knowledge assessment and a set of practical tasks alongside a profession structured discussion using your portfolio of evidence.

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

Career options:

  • Service Technician
  • Supervisor
  • Branch Manager

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship