Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC)

The Purpose of TAC

The purpose of the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium is to bring together engineering consultancy firms to enable them to meet their business needs through the recruitment and training of technical apprentices.

The Consortium will:

  • Ensure that there is a valued work-based route to professional status for aspiring engineers including those who are currently under-represented within the sector such as females, ethnic minorities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Increase the numbers of young people taking up this route and the number of companies appreciating the benefits it brings and so committing to providing technician apprenticeship places
  • Broaden the availability across a range of engineering disciplines through using the common base of the Engineering Council UK-SPEC to compile a suite of linked qualifications working with sector skills councils, professional institutions and awarding bodies.

The Value of TAC for your business 


Frequently Asked Questions for Apprentices


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines real employment, college learning and work experience to ensure that you have the right balance of technical and practical skills. As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, on day-release or block-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised vocational and academic qualifications.


What are the levels of an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is for 16+ employees with at least five GCSEs including Maths (at grade B), English and a Science subject (grade C or above) who are aspiring to take up highly skilled roles within a company. The Engineering Apprenticeship start at Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and now you can complete a Level 6 (Degree Apprenticeship), even a level 7 masters Degree Apprenticeship in some sectors. 


What is an Apprenticeship in Engineering?

You can do lots of different Apprenticeships in Engineering for example Civil, Building Services, Environmental, Rail Design and Transport Planning. The qualification will provide you with a structured programme to develop your engineering knowledge, skills and understanding these apprenticeships are designed to meet the requirements for professional Membership with the relevant Institution. As such, should you be successful, you gain professional recognition and letters after your name.  They also offer natural progression routes, for those that want to pursue them, to Incorporated and Chartered Engineer with the appropriate formal education and training input.  This means that you can pursue a career as a professional engineer and earn while you learn.


Who can do an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are available if you are leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. Minimum requirement 16+


How much time will I be in training?

As part of the apprenticeship you will attend college/university on a day release basis.  In the company, the achievement of the competences should be part and parcel of your daily work.  Support will be given to help you with evidence collection which will be assessed and signed off on a regular basis by company and provider staff.  Typically, a level 3 course lasts for two years with the work based element continuing for up to a further year – a maximum of three years in all. A level 6 course will last up to five years.  


Where can I find out about vacancies?

There are a number of different ways to find out about vacancies.  Many companies post apprenticeship vacancies on their website. They will appear on their websites usually in March - September.  You can also register on the National Apprenticeship Service website where all providers will post vacancies on behalf of employers. 


How do I apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job so you will have to go through an application process. This will usually involve a written application and then an interview where you will have to impress the employer.

For help with your application read the guidance document “How to Write a Winning Apprenticeship Application” and visit the National Apprenticeship Service website 


What do I do when I’ve finished my apprenticeship?

It is up to you and your company as to what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship.  If you want to you and are capable and your company is willing to support you there are opportunities with progression to higher level apprenticeships and part-time study in Higher Education to progress your career to become an Incorporated or Chartered Engineer.
By making sure you have all the information you need, you can make an informed decision about whether an apprenticeship is the right path for you.


Frequently Asked Questions for Employers


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a vocational qualification which mixes formal education with a structured programme of work based learning to meet agreed standards of competency and knowledge.  

There are nearly 200 types of Apprenticeship within a variety of industry sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing and floristry.


What level Apprenticeships are there?

An Apprenticeship can range from a level 2 Intermediate, Level 3 Advanced, Level 6 Degree, Level 7 Masters apprenticeships. Most Engineering Apprenticeships start at Level 3 with a minimum requirement of 5 A-B GCSE's Mandatory in Maths. You can progress through the levels once completing the full Apprenticeship.


What is an Engineering Apprenticeship?

These qualifications will allow apprentices to fulfil the requirements of the competence-based component of the apprenticeship standards, along with appropriate underpinning knowledge and the acquisition of professional attributes. They will also meet the requirements for Technician and Degree level Membership of the relevant Institutions.

The advantages of these qualifications are that:
• They conform to the requirements of the Training Agreement already in place with the Professional Institutions. Its format is therefore familiar to engineering mentors within the company
• The competences are described in broad enough terms to allow for them to be achieved in a wide variety of engineering occupations.  This means that there can be a coherent delivery mechanism across the company.
• They offer natural progression routes, for those that want to pursue them, to Incorporated and Chartered Engineer with the appropriate formal education and training input.
• Their professional credentials mean that they are an attractive alternative to consider.


What will it cost?

An Apprenticeship is fully funded for an Apprentice. If you are an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017. More details here: apprenticeship levy   


How much time will an apprentice be in training?

As part of the Apprenticeship the apprentice will attend college on a day release (some providers will work on block release) basis.  In the company, the achievement of the competences should be part and parcel of their daily work.  Support will be given to help the apprentices with evidence collection which will be assessed and signed off on a regular basis by company and provider staff.  


How do I go about recruiting an apprentice?

There is a list of providers under the Provider tab on the TAC home page which already work with consortium companies to deliver and assess the various elements of the Apprenticeship standards.  The named contact will be more than happy to help you with the process of advertising for and recruiting an Apprentice.  In England this is free if you advertise on the Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching website.  

In the case of any advice then please contact the TAC team


Can I recruit apprentices on the programme without being a TAC member?

The Apprenticeships are nationally recognised and available, so you do not need to be a TAC member to access the courses. However, by belonging to the Regional group and Trailblazer groups you do have more say in the content, assessment and quality assurance of the courses.



Useful Links



Government Reports

Careers Advice and Guidance

Professional Engineering Registration

  • Engineering Council for EngTech and general professional registration (
  • EngTech and general professional registration (