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Plate Welder L3 Apprenticeship Standard


Type: Full Time

Subject: Engineering and Motor Vehicle


Start Date: Please contact the Information Centre for start date information

Fee: Please contact the Information Centre for fee information

Course Length

36 months


Level 3

Who is it for


Applications for this course will open in the new year. In the meantime if you already have an employer and wish to apply for the Apprenticeship Course please contact 01733 726121.

Plate welding is contributes to the UK economy through the fabrication, construction and upgrade of major infrastructure projects, defence assets and exported goods. Plate welders can be employed in a variety of industries. As an Apprentice you will learn how to manually weld plate and structural components to high standards of quality. This will involve fabrication, construction or repair of fabricated plate assemblies, extrusions and structural components (e.g. Channel, H–Beams, I–Beams etc.) used often used to fabricate larger components and assemblies To become a Fabrication and Welding Apprentice you will need to have strong communication skills and willingness to learn and take direction from senior staff. You will need basic computer skills and good positive attitude and willingness to learn new techniques and methods.

Apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job–specific skills. Off the job training is on a day–release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

You can apply for an Apprenticeship is you are living in England, over 16 and not in full–time education can apply.

Interview Skills Assessment

All candidates will be invited to an interview with the Apprenticeship Recruitment Officers and will take part in an assessment.

What will I need

Entry requirements of 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 and above. A suitable supportive employer who will guide you through your apprenticeship. Vacancies are advertised on our website ––vacancies/

What is covered

This apprenticeship involves the skills and knowledge needed for occupations in fabrication and welding, the ability to organise work and identify and prevent problems.

K1: Dimensional and mechanical properties (strength, toughness, thermal expansion etc.) of materials to be welded.

K2: Fundamentals of welding metallurgy (weld solidification and Heat Affected Zone) and how this can affect the weldability of materials and final joint integrity.

K3: Common manual arc welding processes and the relative merits for a given application, including Manual Metal Arc (MMA),Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Metal Active Gas (MAG), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)

K4: Common joint types associated with welding plate and structural components (Fillet, Butt, T–Butt, Corner/Lap; Single–Sided, Double–Sided, Metallic Backed, Ceramic Backed).

K5: Welding positions and progressions associated with plate and structural components and their international designations including Flat; Horizontal–Vertical; Horizontal; Vertical (upward and downward progressions); Overhead.

K6: The major components of welding equipment, ancillary equipment, cabling and their assembly, including Power Source, Wire Feed System, TIG & PAW Arc Initiation Systems, interconnecting communications cables, torches, tongs, gas equipment etc.

K7: Set, modify and monitor welding controls (e.g. Current, Arc Voltage, Wire Feed Speed, Gas Flow Rates, Polarity) and secondary controls (e.g. Heat Input, Interpass Temperature).

K8: Welding Procedure Specification requirements, contents, and information derived to establish specific production information

K9: The relative merits, applications and limitations of material preparation methods and manual material removal processes including powered and non–powered tools.

K10: Performance success factors in production, inspection reporting, productivity including time and duration, dimensional, Non–Destructive Examination, defect rates etc.

K11: Causes and detection of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced.

K12: Types and functions of welding consumables, fluxing systems and the requirement for correct identification, storage, conditioning, handling, recycling and disposal.

K13: Requirements for correct storage, handling and segregation of materials and tooling to prevent cross contamination.

K14: Organisational quality documentation, reporting systems, procedures and their role within the overall quality process

K15: Continuous improvement processes, performance review and how this is undertaken within their organisation.

K16: The importance of only using approved processes, procedures, documentation and the potential implications for the organisation if this is not followed.

K17: Non–destructive testing reports and radiographs to identify particular defect types and the associated improvements to process and technique needed to prevent recurrence.

K18: Risks and mitigation measures associated with welding and the working environment, and the organisational risk management processes.

K19: The importance of complying with statutory, quality, organisational and health, safety and environmental regulations.

K20: Typical problems that may arise within their normal work activities/environment.

S1 Work safely at all times, comply with health, safety and environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements.

S2 Can obtain, check and use appropriate documentation (such as job instructions, drawings, quality control documentation).

S3 Plan and prepare welding activities before commencing the work.

S4 Obtain, position and assemble welding equipment and associated safety protection needed for activity.

S5 Prepare, check and protect materials and work areas ready for welding.

S6 Inspect assembly to be welded and undertake remedial work to comply with specification, or implement quality steps if rejected.

S7 Receive, inspect, condition and maintain consumables.

S8 Set, test and monitor key welding parameters as detailed within the Welding Procedure Specification.

S9 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.

S10 Use manual processes and equipment to remove material (powered and non–powered).

S11 Achieves a quality of work to meet international standards e.g. ISO5817, ISO9606, ASME IX, AWS D1.1 for dimensional, surface inspection (e.g. Visual, Magnetic Particle, Dye Penetrant) and volumetric inspection (e.g. Radiography, Ultrasonic inspection).

S12 Complete progressive and final checks on the weld prior to release for formal inspection and report into the production control system at the appropriate stages of the work activity.

S13 Restore the work area on completion of the activity and where applicable return any resources and consumables to the appropriate location.

S14 Produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two welding processes from TIG, PAW, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW.

S15 Produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two materials from Carbon Steel, Low Alloy Steel, High Alloy Ferritic/Martensitic Steel, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Nickel & Nickel Alloys, Aluminium & Aluminium alloys, Titanium & Titanium Alloys, Copper & Copper Alloys.

S16 Produce welds in plate and/or structural components covering three plate welding positions which must include Vertical (either upward or downward progression) and overhead.

S17 Produce plate welds in 3 main joint configurations (Single or Double Sided Butt, Single or Double Sided T–Butt & Fillet)


B1: Takes responsibility for decision–making, without autonomy and within the guidelines of the work instruction, for their workplace, the application of welding processes, and for their productivity.

B2: Enquires and to seeks guidance, in order to understand the processes and associated industrial applications.

B3: Committed to maintaining competence through Continuing Professional Development planning, preparation and reflection to ensure safety, quality and production and ensuring Continuing Professional Development goals are achieved.

B4: Intervene and challenge poor practices and have confidence to channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change.

B5: Consistently and reliably delivers in accordance with expectations in safety, production, quality, ethics and self–development.

B6: Encourages and supports the development of others and completes point of work risk assessments.

B7: Follows the specified procedures and controls and be personally responsible and accountable for their production work and personal development.

B8: Reflects on current and past performance and provide information and recommendations for continuous improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of working practices, and training and development requirements.

Apprentices are expected to attend college for 1 day a week as part of 20% off–the–job training. Additional off–the–job training hours are expected to be completed within the workplace.

How is the course assessed

Coursework, exams and practical observations.
Apprentices will complete and End–Point assessment in order to complete the qualification.

What can this course lead to

You will complete a final End–point Assessment. Successful Apprentice will be eligible to join the Welding Institute. Typical job roles include Plate Welder, Structural Welder, Class B Welder, Coded Multi–positional Plate Welder.
You may choose to progress onto a Higher/Degree Level Apprenticeships, full time learning programme or a range of further employment opportunities.

Are there any additional costs

Learners may need to purchase uniform and/or equipment depending on the employer.

Other details

Reality check
A fabrication and welding Apprentice could expect to work unsociable hours, weekends and even be on 24 hour call out service. Working conditions may sometimes be confined and you may have to work outside in all weathers. Some work may be at height, outside buildings or on rooftops.

An employed status Apprentice will:
• Earn a wage – the national minimum wage for apprentices is £3.90 an hour, although many Apprentices earn more than this
• Get paid holidays
• Receive training

Additional fabrication qualifications available. Contact us on 01733 762121 to find out more.
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