Metal processing and allied operations apprenticeship

The metal processing industry covers a variety of ways of working with different metals to produce materials that are suitable for the next stage in their manufacturing process.

From large-scale structures, such as bridges or the hulls of ocean-going ships, to smaller metal components, this diverse industry covers a range of different production techniques to create the properties in metals that make them suitable for a wide range of products.

As an apprentice on the Metal Processing and Allied Operations apprenticeship you could find yourself working in any one of a number of different semi-skilled operative roles. In a foundry, for example, you might work on processes to heat and pour metals, prepare moulds and to remove and clean casts, while working in a forge might see you heating and shaping stock to achieve the right shape and properties for later machining and other mechanical operations. Alternatively, as an inspection and testing operative you might gather and prepare samples of metal materials and products to ensure they comply with quality control requirements.

You could find yourself working in a more technical role, perhaps as a casting technician, or maybe as a scheduler, working on the shop floor to ensure that materials are in the right place at the right time and that they meet the quality requirements of the manufacturing process. Metal products technicians plan and carry out operations to change the shape of hot and cold metals by applying physical pressures such as rolling and forging, and roles also exist for team leaders who organise the efficient working of production teams using their knowledge of the techniques and procedures required.

For all roles you will need to show your enthusiasm for working in a manufacturing or engineering environment. You will also need to be practically minded and enjoy working with your hands.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

£12,000–£25,000 depending on region and employer

Job roles:

Casting operator, Metals production operative, Foundry processing operative, Forging operative, Metal forming operative, Metals process inspection and testing operative, Casting technician, Materials scheduler, Metal products technician, Process technician, Forgemaster technician, Heat treatment technician, Team leader

Issuing Authority:


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