Combining lighter and stronger alternatives to metals for use in manufacturing.
Job Titles: Composites Designer, Composites Tool-Maker, Composites Laminator, Composites Inspector, Composites Repairer, Composite Materials Technician.
Composites manufacture is the combining of materials to form a lighter and stronger rigid structure as an alternative to metal. These lightweight rigid structures are essential in the Aerospace, Automotive, Marine and Renewables industries and are becoming increasingly important in the Oil & Gas, Construction and Rail sectors. The composite industry therefore has an increasing requirement for skilled employees.
A Composites Technician employed within a Composites Manufacturing environment will find themselves at the heart of cutting edge technologies using state of the art equipment and will become a skilled resource that will be an enabler for manufacturing technologies, processes and practices.
A Composites Technician is engaged in a variety of processes in the production and creation of materials and components that are used in a range of applications including but not limited to: airplanes, cars, boats, turbine blades, oil & gas rigs, bridges, trains and satellites. They provide specialised knowledge and skills that support manufacturing programmes and projects and may be deployed in the areas of design, tooling, moulding, lay-up, curing, machining, inspection, testing, repair and material production. As the Technician grows in competence and expertise, other areas of composites technology such as automated manufacture development, preform technologies, processing technologies, validation and post processing, may form part of their role and responsibility.
Each employer will stipulate their own entry requirements but it is likely that many will seek a Grade A* to C in Maths, English and a Science or Technology based subject.
The typical duration of this apprenticeship will be 3 years
All technicians employed in the Composites sector will need to develop specialist knowledge, skills and behaviours. These will be generic and/or technology specific, but the subject areas indicated below will provide a foundation for development in composites manufacture.
A Composites Technician will require a thorough understanding of the industry in which they are employed. They will be able to understand and apply the following areas :
A Composites Technician will develop skills in the disciplines of design, mould tool making and preparation, part lay-up, curing, testing, inspection, repair and material science. They will be able to:
The behaviour of Technicians in the Composites industry is one of the most important aspects of the standard. Composites Technicians will be expected to:
As part of the apprenticeship, apprentices will be required to achieve a recognised L3 Engineering qualification, as approved by the relevant professional institution, to be deemed eligible to apply for Engineering Technician (Eng.Tech.) status with The Institute of Materials( IOM3) and/or the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
This standard will meet the professional standards required for Eng.Tech. registration.
Career development / progression opportunities into posts will include, but not be limited to: Supervisor, Team Leader or Senior Technician. Further progression via a Higher Level Apprenticeship or Foundation degree in either Composites Manufacture, Materials Engineering or Materials Science may be encouraged, leading to a full degree where employers deem this to be appropriate and desirable.
The apprenticeship framework will be reviewed within three years.
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