First Year

The first year of the Advanced Apprenticeship is spent at Europe’s largest specialist engineering training centre, HMS Sultan at Gosport. We have a unique relationship with the Royal Navy, which means in addition to a dedicated on-site training centre we also have access to their extensive facilities.

The programme is completely tailored to our engineering requirements and the needs of the people, and is delivered by our training partner, Flagship Training. The workshops are modern and extensively equipped, including a range of specialist railway equipment.

So what will you be doing here? We provide a technical foundation that will give you an excellent platform for the future. You will learn fundamental engineering principles and skills. It is a mix of academic work as well as hands-on practical experience – after all you will be studying for an NVQ Level 2 and a BTec Level 3. Training takes place between 8.15am and 4.15pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12pm on Saturdays (except during weekend leave). There are also occasional evening and weekend lectures and briefings.

By the end of your first year, you will have completed two technical qualifications: the Performing Engineering Operations at NVQ Level 2, where you’ll study a range of engineering subjects to give you a good technical grounding; and the BTec National Award in Engineering, which will focus on mathematics, science and either electrical & electronics or mechanical engineering.

At the same time, your personal development will begin. We’ll help you understand more about living and working as part of a team and the different types of skills needed in your career with us helping you to achieve your ILM Level 2; but you’ll also learn just as much living here in Gosport. So many of our apprentices talk about the confidence they have gained during the year and how it has made them more independent and more aware of the working world.

‘Looking out for each other’

“You can’t expect everyone to be brilliant at everything. When you look at the breadth of what we have to learn, from maths and craft skills to leadership and metallurgy, it’s a lot to take in. But we help each other to make the grade. People can do catch-up coaching during the week, and they run extra sessions on Saturday mornings and – most important of all – apprentices help each other out. From the earliest stages, we’re taught to work and succeed as a team.”