• Engineering

    SVQ Performing Engineering Operations (Pre-Apprenticeship) Level 5

  • SCQF Level

    Level 5

  • Attendance/Duration


  • Start Date

    Aug 2022

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Scotland has a world-renowned reputation for engineering, and is at the cutting-edge of engineering developments. Engineers design, create, test and improve all sorts of products and processes. They have an impact on every aspect of modern living and enjoy exciting career opportunities in lots of different sectors, including space, aviation, transport, medicine, technology, food, fashion and construction.

If you’ve got a logical and inquisitive mind, enjoy problem solving and are curious to know how things work, you’ve got it in you to make a great engineer! Right now, qualified engineers are in extremely high demand, with thousands of new engineers needed every year in Scotland alone.

Ayrshire College is an ideal choice for studying engineering:

  • We have STEM Assured Status which means we have been recognised for the quality of our Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses.
  • We’ve invested in our equipment, so you’ll be learning using the latest industry standard technology.
  • We won Training Partner of the Year at the prestigious SEMTA (Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) Skills Awards in 2017.

We’ve also got an excellent record of employment for our engineering students.

For entry to this course you’ll need:

  • A real interest in working in engineering
  • Three National 4s or equivalent, ideally including Maths and English OR a relevant course at SCQF Level 4 or equivalent
  • An interview with us

If you don’t have any formal qualifications, but have life experience, we’ll also consider you for a place, so please call us for a chat.

What's Involved

This course is extremely practical, teaching you the basic hand skills you’ll need to become a Modern Apprentice in engineering. It’s an essential part of a Modern Apprenticeship, making you more employable in an engineering discipline.

There’s a bit of theory which includes topics such as how to use technical information like engineering drawings, how to work effectively in an engineering post, and health & safety regulations. We’ll also spend a small amount of time developing your core skills for employment, such as working as part of a team.

Here’s just some of what you’ll be doing:

  • You’ll develop skills in producing components using hand fitting techniques. You’ll use a wide range of hand and portable power tools to carry out activities such as hand sawing, filing, drilling and riveting.
  • You’ll develop skills in ‘turning’ activities, learning how to use a lathe to produce a variety of components.
  • You’ll develop skills in the basic welding processes, including Manual Metal Arc (MMA), Metal Inert Gas (MIG) and Metal Active Gas (MAG).
  • You’ll develop skills in wiring and testing electrical equipment and circuits, learning how to make termination and connect components.
  • You’ll learn about basic computer numerical control (CNC) programming and machining activities.
  • You’ll learn how to use a Computer Aid Drawing (CAD) system, producing detailed drawings for mechanical engineering activities.
  • You’ll build transferable Essential Skills in meaningful contexts to help you become more effective in life, learning, and work. This could be communication, numeracy, ICT, working with others, and problem solving.

Finally, you’ll develop your IT skills, including word processing, databases, spreadsheets and graphics.

Go Anywhere

When you successfully complete this course, you will also have the choice of:

  • Moving onto a relevant Level 6 course such as NC Electrical Engineering, NC Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NC Fabrication and Welding Engineering, NC Manufacturing Engineering or NC Mechanical Engineering.
  • Seeking to start your career with a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering.

Local employers, including Emergency One, Egger, GE Caledonian, and Wallace McDowall for example, often come to us to recruit students from this course as employees and/or apprentices. We currently have students from 15 different companies completing a version of this course on a day release basis, with a further 30 companies sending students back to us to complete NC or higher courses after completing the PEO previously.

Starting this year, the PEO course has also been selected to benefit from a game changing partnership with XLCC. Students who are successful on this course will be guaranteed an interview with XLCC for one of 60 new HVDC Jointer positions.

XLCC has recently obtained planning permission to build an HVDC subsea cable manufacturing operations facility in Hunterston. The XLCC team will deliver four 3,800km long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK for the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project.

Those who are recruited by XLCC will receive full training, taking place in Germany for two months in a specialist facility before returning to Hunterston for on the job training, working on test lengths of cable to produce certified HVDC joints ahead of full cable production.

For employed candidates, as mentioned above, this course is also available on Part Time/Day Release basis. To discuss this option and to obtain further information please contact the department by emailing lynn.anderson@ayrshire.ac.uk

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2022

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