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The Engineering sector in the UK is diverse and dynamic, offering a multitude of opportunities for school leavers. This sector encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace, and software engineering, among others. School leavers can enter this field through various routes.



Apprenticeships in engineering combine practical experience with academic learning, allowing school leavers to earn while they gain professional qualifications.

·       Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships: These involve learning to design, build, and maintain mechanical systems and machinery. Apprentices work with tools, machines, and CAD software.

·       Electrical Engineering Apprenticeships: Focused on installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in various settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial.

·       Civil Engineering Apprenticeships: These cover the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and water systems.

·       Software Engineering Apprenticeships: Involving the development, testing, and maintenance of software applications, these apprenticeships provide a foundation in coding and software design.



Traineeships offer short-term, flexible programs designed to prepare school leavers for apprenticeships or employment by providing essential skills and experience.

·       Engineering Traineeships: These programs offer placements with engineering firms, covering basic engineering principles, technical skills, and workplace safety.

·       Technical Traineeships: Focused on specific technical skills needed in engineering, such as CAD, welding, or electronics.


Entry-Level Positions

Entry-level positions in the engineering sector provide an excellent starting point for school leavers, offering practical experience and opportunities for career progression.

·       Junior Technicians: Supporting engineers with tasks such as assembling and testing components, maintaining equipment, and conducting experiments.

·       Engineering Assistants: Assisting with project management, data analysis, and report preparation in various engineering projects.

·       Apprentice Engineers: Working under the supervision of experience engineers to learn specific engineering disciplines.


Further Education and Training


School leavers can pursue further education to gain specialized knowledge and qualifications in engineering. Various colleges and universities offer relevant courses and certifications.

·       BTEC Nationals and Diplomas: Programs in engineering, covering areas like mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering.

·       Foundation Degrees: Two-year programs that combine academic study with practical experience in various engineering fields.

·       Higher National Certificates (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HND): Qualifications that provide a solid foundation in engineering principles and practices.



Volunteering can provide school leavers with practical experience, help them build networks, and enhance their resumes.

·       Engineering Without Borders: Volunteering on projects that provide engineering solutions to challenges in developing countries, gaining hands-on experience in practical engineering applications.

·       STEM Ambassadors: Volunteering to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects in schools and communities, inspiring the next generation of engineers.


Government and NGO Programs

The UK government and various NGOs offer programs aimed at engaging young people in engineering work.

·       EngineeringUK: Offers resources and programs to inspire young people to pursue careers in engineering, including apprenticeships and educational pathways.

·       The Prince’s Trust: Provides support, training, and funding for young people to start careers in engineering.

·       The Year in Industry: A program offering gap-year placements in engineering firms for students considering an engineering career.


The Engineering sector in the UK offers a broad range of opportunities for school leavers, providing pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Through apprenticeships, traineeships, entry-level positions, further education, volunteering, and programs offered by government and NGOs, young individuals can gain the skills and experience needed to thrive in this innovative field. This sector not only offers job security but also the chance to work on cutting-edge technologies and projects that shape the future.

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