Level 3 Apprenticeship

Trainee Aircraft Fitter

Trainee Aircraft Fitter

This page provides an overview of the level 3 Trainee Aircraft Fitter apprenticeship programme delivered by Marshall Skills Academy. It includes a description of the duties that trainee apprentices must perform, details about the programme structure, qualifications embedded in the programme, and the entry requirements.

Duties of a Trainee Apprentice Aircraft Fitter:

  • Actively participate in training sessions, exams, and one-on-one meetings with tutors/assessors.
  • Manage time effectively, balancing requirements of coursework, assignments and exams.
  • Engage in self-reflection on your practice and experiences, incorporating feedback for continuous improvement.
  • Perform scheduled aircraft maintenance and servicing.
  • Address unscheduled aircraft maintenance, including defect rectification for aircraft systems and components.
  • Execute repairs on airframe structures.
  • Undertake all levels of modifications to aircraft structures, systems, and interiors.
  • Fulfil related duties, including operating ground equipment, assisting in aircraft movements, and participating in aircraft delivery.

By necessity, the role of fitter requires a very high level of quality control to maintain stringent safety and regulatory standards. You will need to develop a strong understanding of your employer’s processes and procedures to be compliant with these standards.

The Trainee Programme

As a Trainee Aircraft Fitter, you will adhere to the level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard (Fixed and Rotary Wing). For more detailed information, please refer to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s website.

You will gain the following qualifications during the three-to-four-year programme:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Aerospace & Aviation Engineering (foundation competence)
  • Level 3 Diploma in On-Aircraft Maintenance Category A (technical knowledge qualification)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance (competence qualification)

Trainees actively engage in developing the knowledge, skills, and behaviours essential for the role, utilising a mix of workshop training, classroom sessions, and on-the-job learning. Alongside your technical skills, you will also develop the behaviours needed to set the foundation for your future career. You will be supported every step of the way by our instructors, mentors, line managers and fellow apprentices.

As a trainee apprentice, you will commence your learning with an initial block at the Marshall Skills Academy workshop in order to gain your level 2 competence qualification, before moving into the workplace. An assessor will meet with you every six weeks to review and sign off on your competence qualification. For your knowledge qualification, you will also attend a combination of day and block release learning - either in person or virtually.

This intensive program condenses all qualifications into a two-and-a-half-year timeframe, providing an accelerated path compared to our traditional apprenticeship route. Upon completing all qualifications, trainees enter the End Point Assessment (EPA) period, which may take up to four months to complete.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is tailored for individuals currently employed in hands-on or engineering-related roles outside the aerospace or aviation sector. Participants are expected to have a minimum of two years of industry experience and prior exposure to working with tools. Your current role might be in automotive, rail, trades, or similar hands-on environments.

Applicants should already possess a fundamental understanding of health and safety practices in an engineering or related setting, as this will not be your initial foray into the workforce.

Compared to the traditional apprenticeship program, this offering is more intensive and condensed. Given the participants' level of experience, we expect quicker progression through tasks and written assignments. Furthermore, there will be less emphasis on soft skills training, behaviour development, workplace skills and PSHE, considering your existing background in a working environment.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C/4-9 (or equivalent), including Mathematics, English, and Science.
  • Should not have previously completed the specific level 2 or 3 qualifications mentioned in the “Apprenticeships we deliver” section.
  • Some proficiency in using hand tools.
  • Right to work in the UK and residency eligibility (required for funding).
  • Must successfully pass all required medical and security checks.
  • A minimum of 2 years' experience in a hands-on role, engineering environment, or trade environment.

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