A website maintained for the Sheffield City Region by the HEPP

Helping apprentices progress into Higher Education

Career Pathways

Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering

South Yorkshire is known worldwide for the cutting edge quality of its precision engineering, metals and alloys. Engineering and manufacturing seem to have an image problem; young people often mistakenly see them as a ‘grimy’ professions linked with old fashioned hard industry. But increasing investment and development of technologies including robotics means many jobs are in clean high-tech environments.

The growth in this sector is linked to the ‘advanced’ jobs, rather than the more traditional side of manufacturing or engineering.

Types of Job

Mechanical engineer
Nation Average Salary: £45,429
CAD designer
Nation Average Salary: £30,962
Design engineer
Nation Average Salary: £41,132
Biological scientist
Nation Average Salary: £41,415
Engineering technician
Nation Average Salary: £36,066

Are you fascinated by technology and how things work?
Do you love solving complex problems?

Manufacturing and Engineering apprenticeships are well-established in the region and are a good way of getting a high quality job with higher than average earnings and chance to progress. The emphasis is on higher level skilled jobs, which is where the growth in the economy is.

The Level 2 and 3 apprenticeship areas covered by Manufacturing and Engineering include; Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering, Vehicle Maintenance and Electrical Engineering.

For some apprenticeships you will study a general engineering/manufacturing pathway and then specialise in something you are most interested in. Depending on the company you are employed by and the opportunities available, you may be able to progress with your apprenticeship to a degree level. Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering is one of the first work areas to have an accredited higher and degree apprenticeship at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).

Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Higher Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship includes a combination of formal education with work-based learning. The programme utilises a variety of Foundation Degrees to address the needs of various industries. In each case, after completing the existing Higher Apprenticeship to Level 5, you can, with appropriate other funding, progress onto an associated BEng Degree.

Regional Facts

South Yorkshire is known worldwide for its precision engineering, metals and alloys and high quality design and manufacture of a wide range of manufactured products.

59,000 people are employed in engineering and manufacturing. These include:
· Food and drink 6,900
· Wood, paper and printing 4,800
· Chemicals, rubber, plastic and other non-metallic mineral products 8,700
· Machinery and equipment 3,800
· Metals and metal products 20,500 Computers, electrical and optical 2,500
· Motor vehicles and other transport 3,000.

Advanced engineering has an ageing workforce and the sector really needs young people. There are skills shortages in most engineering and technology work areas.

Manufacturing jobs are available in a wide range of sectors.

There are strong links to other sectors, including Healthcare Technology and Low Carbon.

Career Facts


  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Accuracy
  • Creative thinking

Useful subjects include:

  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • ICT
  • Biology
  • Design


You have to be employed in order to do a higher or degree apprenticeship. If you are not employed for at least 30 hours a week you need to apply directly to an employer who is offering a higher or degree apprenticeship as part of their training programme.

For this Engineering Apprenticeship, applications are via Rolls Royce, Tata Steel and JCB. Please visit their websites for more details on how to apply.

University of Sheffield

See how an apprentice from the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is helping develop testing services for Chinese clients.

Interested? For more information...

Some local employers