Nothing is impossible ... everything is possible!

The Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing industry is growing at a quick pace, with lots of exciting opportunities to work with the latest technology available in the area. Choose employment in a variety of locations depending on your specialism - from the office and factory floors to building sites, workshops, laboratories and plants. 

Careers in advance Engineering and Manufacturing

Here are just a few examples of job titles that have shown to be the most popular listings in the South West region within the last year.

  • Maintenance Engineers
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • HGV and Vehicle Technician
  • Solutions Architect
  • Electrical Design Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer

We've bundled the best education in the area with career boosted benefits - and are leveraging our contacts as one of the largest Colleges in the country to give you the best possible chance of success.

More engineering courses from our West of England Institute of Technology

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In 2020 there were over 11,454 jobs in the Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing industries advertised across the South West region, this is an increase of 6% on the national average.

Engineering and manufacturing is one of the UK's broadest sectors. 5.5 million people work in engineering in the UK, accounting for 18% of all UK employment. With new developments and Government initiatives in nuclear energy, food and drink manufacturing and AI technologies, the sector is one of the biggest growing nationally.


Engineering requires a high level of training and skill, so it can be very financially beneficial. The breadth of the sector means you will have the opportunity to find out what area is best suited to your skillset and your qualifications, and which you’d most like to specialise in as your career. 

You could choose to specialise in:

  • Engineering Technician: £35,763 
  • Civil Engineering: £42,616 
  • Electrical Engineer: £47,482 
  • IT Engineer: £28,463 
  • Vehicle Technician: £26,673


Here’s some of the key skills that employers commonly state is needed in their employees, these are included in their job adverts:


  • Communications
  • Management
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Customer Service
  • Planning
  • Operations
  • Leadership
  • Enthusiasm


Manufacturing Engineering Level 3

“I’ve always had a strong interest in engineering, but I felt that I’d gotten as far as I could in my previous job, so I enrolled on the Production Engineering Level 3 coursein order to further my career opportunities, and I’m so glad I did!...

The course led me to GKN Aerospace, where I’ve completed the Level 3 and Level 4 apprenticeships and feel like I have achieved so much more than I could have without the qualification.

The course lecturers were SO supportive, and even though I’d never done anything like this previously, I never felt like I was alone or struggling.

Engineering is such a varied profession; it’s forever growing and always evolving and there are so many ways you can go with it. I’ve found that you can always learn more, develop new skills and transfer to new areas to build your knowledge base.

My words of advice would be – there’s a lot of opportunity out there, you’ve just got to go for it.”



HNC in Electrical Engineering (year 2) and Level 3 Apprenticeship as Support Technician (year 4)

“I was in a bit of a tough spot before applying for an apprenticeship course. I had to choose between studying and working full-time to pay bills...

Clearly, the latter took priority and I found myself stuck in job roles that didn’t provide career or personal growth past the initial training. Once I found out that working and earning a qualification simultaneously was a real possibility,

I looked into fields that I had no experience in, but I still felt an interest towards. With no knowledge of how electronics work or how to use any mechanical tools, I managed to land an apprenticeshipwith Oxford Instruments and Weston College.

Nearly four years in, and I already have established a solid career path, I’ve learned things that I thought would be difficult to grasp, and the opportunity for further growth is ever present.

For anyone on the fence about being in the engineering field, don’t be discouraged about the fact that you don’t know what half the tools even do. The best way to learn is hands-on, which an apprenticeship provides an amazing opportunity for."

Unsure what courses is right for you?


Solomon at COS Awards
I found all the topics to be very relevant to the job I will be doing, and involvement from employers was very good. I thoroughly enjoyed my GKN immersion weeks.

Engineering Technologies, Level 3 Diploma

Jonah getting his award on stage posing for a picture with two men
Jonah’s passion for the industry is clear; he strives for the best quality standards in all his work and is always prepared to help out in STEM events and Open Evenings.

Engineering apprenticeship


Georgia, MoD Apprentice, standing in front of jet

<p>June 23rd marks an important day on the calendar for the engineering community and beyond – International Women in Engineering Day. This annual event serves as a powerful reminder of the contributions, achievements, and ongoing challenges faced by women in the field of engineering. It is a day to recognise and celebrate the remarkable women who have shattered glass ceilings and challenged stereotypes, while also highlighting the ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the engineering profession.</p>

<p>Engineering has long been considered a male-dominated field, with women historically underrepresented in various engineering disciplines. However, at Weston College and University Centre Weston (UCW), we are making conscious efforts to give the support and encouragement needed for women to pursue their dream career in the Engineering industry. This support has been in the form of scholarships, job opportunities and apprenticeships, encouraging women to break down the barriers and have a successful career in the industry.</p>

<p>One of the most significant challenges faced by women in engineering is the gender imbalance within the field. According to recent data from EngineeringUK, women make up only 16.5% of engineers in the UK. This disparity can be attributed to a multitude of factors, including societal stereotypes, lack of representation, unconscious bias, and systemic barriers. Women in Engineering Day serves as a platform to address these issues and advocate for change. By showcasing the accomplishments of women engineers and highlighting their stories, we can inspire more young women to consider engineering as a viable and rewarding career path.</p>

<p><img alt="Georgia - MOD apprentice" class="jh-pad" data-align="left" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b7f7cdd7-c288-46bd-8ccd-63f8074f8c13" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Georgia%20Apprentice%20MoD%203%20Web_0.png" />Georgia was recently awarded a new Engineering and Green Skills scholarship, in partnership with the Luke Wheaton Trust, who impressed judges in her application with her love of engineering and desire to succeed.</p>

<p>When catching up with Georgia about the scholarship, she said: “I was so happy when I found out that I had been awarded the Luke Wheaton Legacy Trust Scholarship.</p>

<p>“I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship so far, as I have been able to meet apprentices from other companies as well as learning important skills about engineering and sustainability.</p>

<p>“I have enjoyed learning about different materials, their testing and application to different aircraft parts.</p>

<p>“When I complete my degree apprenticeship, I would like to further this understanding and research into material properties and look at cost effective and sustainable solutions to use in the aerospace industry.”</p>

<p><img alt="Chloe - engineering Assessor " class="jh-pad" data-align="left" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="591333a9-826f-4b78-9e09-d18b3c5ac50a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Chloe%20Engineering%20Assessor%20Web.png" />Another successful female engineer from within the college is Chloe, who’s job role is Engineering Assessor.</p>

<p>Chloe told us: “I was looking for an opportunity to develop my career in this direction when a perfect job came up at the college. This involved having more time directly influencing and developing up-and-coming engineers on their apprenticeships in a range of technical skills, within an often diverse and challenging environment.”</p>

<p>In recent years, efforts to increase gender diversity in engineering have gained momentum. The West of England Institute of Technology, for example, are 500% ahead of target in female learner numbers. By fostering an inclusive environment and breaking down barriers, these initiatives are helping to create a more diverse and vibrant engineering community.</p>

<p>While progress has undoubtedly been made, there is still work to be done. Women continue to face challenges such as unconscious bias, lack of representation in leadership positions, and the persistence of gender stereotypes. Recognising these obstacles and actively working to overcome them is crucial for achieving true gender parity in engineering. By embracing diversity, fostering an inclusive culture, and providing equal opportunities, we can harness the collective talents and perspectives of all individuals, irrespective of gender.</p>

<p>On International Women in Engineering Day, let us celebrate the achievements of women engineers, past and present, and acknowledge the incredible contributions they have made to society. It is a day to honour their resilience, brilliance, and innovation. But it is also a reminder that our efforts must extend beyond a single day. We must continue to advocate for equal opportunities, challenge gender biases, and support aspiring women engineers. By doing so, we can build a future where engineering is truly a field that embraces and empowers individuals of all genders.</p>

<p><a href="… out more about our engineering courses, by clicking here.</a></p>

GKN Engine

<p>If you’ve visited our South West Skills Campus over the last few months, you may have seen the display engine, which now proudly sits in our reception, and wondered why it is there?</p>

<p>Well, it is all down to the hard work of our apprentices at GKN.&nbsp;</p>

<p><a href="">GKN Aerospace</a> is one of the world’s leading aircraft and aero-engine manufacturers. With each campus committed to reaching Net Zero by 2030, Weston College partners with high standard organisations that help to create brighter and greener futures. Read more about GKN's initiatives surrounding sustainability and their environmental protection practices <a href="">here</a><img alt="GKN Engine, Engineering Learners, South West Skills Campus" data-align="right" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7d13db4e-ec9a-4059-bc7c-30c3bb884daf" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MicrosoftTeams-image%20%2810%29.jpeg" /></p>

<p>Earlier this year, five of our Year 2 Aerospace Engineering Degree apprentices, Taylor, Jansen, Ethan, Harry and Chloe, decided to organise, manage and install the engine, as part of their Project Management module (work-based learning).</p>

<p>This is one of four modules they need to complete, on the second year of their degree apprenticeship. The module helps learners to develop new skills, as well as strengthening ones that they learnt in their first year.</p>

<p>The engine itself was donated by GKN, who we work very closely with to create exciting opportunities for our learners.</p>

<p>The learners showcased their communication and collaboration, as well as demonstrating their application of the knowledge, skills and behaviours in order to get this project running – one which was completed to industry standard!</p>

<p>Every day I walk past the engine with immense pride, not just at the achievements of these learners, but also of the power of partnerships. I think about the skills and knowledge that these incredible young people possess, thanks to their hard work and dedication, as well as the opportunities presented to them, through the college.</p>

<p>We’re excited to be launching T Levels in Engineering next September too, which will give us further opportunity to work closely with employers and watch learners develop into skilled professionals. The T Level will support learners who are taking their first steps in engineering, and will prepare them both academically and practically through their 45-day placements, in industry.</p>

<p>If you’re an employer reading this, then I highly recommend getting in touch with the <a href=";utm_m… placement team</a> at Weston College. Not only will this give you an opportunity to meet the learner and find out whether or not they will be a fit for your organisation, but they also possess skills which can fill skills gaps and support your business.</p>

<p><em>Andreas Papadopoulos, HE Curriculum Co-ordinator Engineering</em></p>


<h2>Have you considered doing one of our blacksmith courses? Meet Luke Green, a Lecturer in Engineering in the Department of Advanced Engineering and Computing at Weston College and a Blacksmith.</h2>


<p><strong>What is a blacksmith?</strong></p>

<p>A blacksmith is someone who creates objects from wrought iron or steel. Blacksmiths forge (change the shape by hammering) the metal after it’s been heated.</p>

<p>Blacksmiths make traditional objects – such as gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, agricultural implements, cooking utensils and weapons – but also create more intricate items, including ornamental flowers and wedding rings.</p>

<p>While many people work with metal – such as farriers, wheelwrights, and armorers – blacksmiths, traditionally, are able to make and repair a wider range of items, from the most complex of weapons and armour, to simple objects like nails or lengths of chain.</p>

<p>Because of this, blacksmithing is suited to people with a range of skills and interests, including those who are:</p>

<li>Suited to hand-on work</li>
<li>Engineering focused.</li>

<p>The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a fabulous example of where blacksmithing contributed to the creation of an impressive local structure. Blacksmiths have also made various gates, railings, sculptures and ornamental pieces around the South West.</p>

<p>Locally there are only three blacksmiths.</p>

<p>Blacksmiths are either commissioned to create one-off pieces for substantial sums of money (anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds), or produce a series of items in quantity.</p>

<p><strong>How did you become a blacksmith?</strong></p>

<p>I inherited a workshop full of old tools that had not been used for some years. Instead of throwing them out I began to work with those tools and gradually built my skill set up – from learning how to use a hammer, to building unique forges designed for custom pieces.</p>

<p>It has been a long journey, with many challenges and accomplishments, but one that has been incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable.</p>

<p><strong>What training have you had?</strong></p>

<p>Various courses for ‘smithing’ do exist in the UK, as well as the occasional apprenticeship, but these are few are far between. We offer a Blacksmiths short course which runs for 6 weeks on a Tuesday evening 5.30-8.00pm, it provides a rare opportunity to learn this fascinating craft!</p>

<p>I have been lucky enough to have worked with Mike and Steve Goldsmith in Somerset as well as Dean Aggett in Devon.</p>

<p>I have also had the opportunity to work with Hector Cole, who fabricated the gates at Buckingham Palace.</p>

<p>Tell us about some of your career highlights and achievements.</p>

<p>Since becoming a blacksmith in 2012, I have been invited to do archaeological demos at venues including Caerleon Roman Fortress and Cardiff University.</p>

<p>I have made pieces ranging from decorative and functional items (chandeliers, coat racks, hooks, boot holders, roses etc) to jewellery-based items such as wedding rings.</p>

<p>I have also produced tools and weaponry for re-enactment and bushcraft purposes – this has also extended into armoury fabrication.</p>

<p>One of the reason blacksmithing is so appealing, is that it harks back to older times – heating up metal in a fire and hammering it to shape it helps us connect with our ancestors.</p>

<p><strong>What are the benefits of learning blacksmithing?</strong></p>

<li>You have the freedom to explore the metals</li>
<li>It’s fun</li>
<li>You can create anything - you’re only limited by your imagination</li>
<li>It’s a great stress reliever</li>
<li>It’s satisfying to create something unique.</li>

<p><strong>What advice would you give to potential students?</strong></p>

<li>Don’t be afraid, but respect the fire and heat.</li>
<li>Practice, practice, practice.</li>

<p><strong>Tell us about the blacksmithing course.</strong></p>

<p>The course is unique in the South West.</p>

<p>You will learn how to manipulate hot steel and produce your own metal masterpiece. You can also choose to make something from a range of small items.</p>

<p>After a simple demonstration, you will get straight into having a go. You will be guided to safely use the hand tools and incorporate design elements into practical work.</p>

<p>At the end of your day, you can expect to take away a couple of pieces of your own handcrafted work - your test piece and a finished piece.</p>

<p>Weston College runs Level 2 and 3 adult courses all year around. This course covers:</p>

<p>Week 1: Forged bottle opener (3 possible designs)<br />
Week 2: Forged fire poker (3 possible designs)<br />
Week 3: Forged tongs (3 possible designs)<br />
Week 4: Forged bottled holder (3 designs)<br />
Week 5: Forged garden basket holder (3 designs)<br />
Week 6: Forged rose/flower (3 designs)</p>

<p>Find out more and register your interest at <a href="Don’t be afraid, but respect the fire and heat. Practice, practice, practice. Tell us about the blacksmithing course. ."></a…;

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