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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.


42 Months (24 Months of day release)


Lead maintenance engineering technicians typically perform a multi-disciplinary role, managing or leading other technicians. They may specialise in areas such as mechanical, electronic, or electrical engineering. Employers range from small to large businesses who deliver or require maintenance support. Typical workplaces include private and public sector manufacturing factories. You will be studying in the new (£11m) state-of-the-art Harlow Advanced Manufacturing Centre (HAMEC) equipped with over £2m worth of industry standard machinery and equipment.

Am I ready to start?

Relevant Level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A Level etc) and 64 UCAS tariff points (relevant industry experience is also considered)

GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above (or equivalent) 

If you have good hand skills, have an interest in how things work and like solving problems then this could be the career for you.

Entry criteria varies depending on the pathway you are studying and the needs of the employer, but a good level of secondary education is expected and many employers expect you to have maths and English GCSE at a C grade or above.

Employers also look for skills like motivation, good interpersonal skills, good communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to learn and will set their own specifications depending on the role.

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 typically 42 months. You will attend College for 1 day a week and be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.

What does the course involve?

Entry Requirements:
Relevant Level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A Level etc) and 64 UCAS tariff points (relevant industry experience is also considered)

GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above (or equivalent) 

The course covers the fundamental engineering concepts and skills required of a higher technician as well as providing a sound basis for further study at degree level. The course is delivered through a mixture of classroom activity, guided assignment work and examinations. Emphasis is placed on problem solving skills and students should expect the delivery to reflect this combined with associated mathematical concepts. BTEC Higher National qualifications are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the principal vocational qualification at Levels 4 and 5.

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

Demand for skilled Engineers is high. Successful completion of this apprenticeship could lead to a range of careers including; Operations Management, Electronics, Design, Aeronautical/Aerospace, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Maintenance, CNC Programming, Marine. The average salary for a qualified engineer is £35,879 and typically ranges from £28,000 to £50,000 but can go beyond that for experienced and senior engineers.  

You could even progress into further training as a Higher Apprentice, where the HNC is studied or progress into more senior or management engineering roles.

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