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Plant maintenance apprenticeship course

Duration: 3 years
Structure: 25 weeks training plus on-the-job experience 
Location: NCC Norfolk and your workplace
: See How to apply below
Funding: See Funding below

This apprenticeship course covers all the basic principles you need to learn to become a plant mechanic and work on the engineering team of a plant or plant hire company

You’ll learn how to service and repair machines and equipment, including replacing parts and checking and calibrating instruments.You’ll study everything from basic engineering skills to the latest technological advancements in electro-hydraulics and computerised control systems.

Course content

  • Bench fitting/engineering skills/technical drawing
  • Materials and measurements
  • Servicing techniques and procedures
  • Basic electrics
  • Braking systems
  • Lifting equipment and procedures
  • Fuels/lubricants/consumables
  • Welding/brazing/soldering
  • CI and SI power units and associated systems
  • IT/communication skills
  • Multi-cyclinder power units
  • Transmissions
  • Hydraulics
  • Steering and suspension systems
  • Tracks/wheels/tyres
  • Auxiliary plant
  • Compressors, air tools and pneumatics
  • Electro-hydraulics
  • Basic electronics
  • Engine management/computerised control
  • Testing and diagnostic procedures
  • Functional and operating procedures
  • 23 AC electrical systems
  • Electrical safety testing (PAT).

You’ll also gain competence in:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Communication
  • Employment responsibilities and rights
  • Health and safety
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Appointed person lifting operations.

Teaching and assessment

Year 1:

  • 16 weeks training (in 4 blocks) 
  • You’ll spend the periods between college training with your employer, developing work-based skills and knowledge.

Year 2:

  • 9 weeks training (in 3 blocks)
  • You’ll spend the periods between college training with your employer, developing work-based skills and knowledge.

Qualifications you gain

  • Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plant Maintenance
  • Level 1 functional skills
  • Employment responsibilities and rights
  • Personal learning and thinking skills.

Entry requirements


The recommended qualifications are four GCSEs (grade D or higher).

 To help us assess your suitability for the course, you'll need to:

  • Complete a skills learning exercise and possibly attend the college for further tests
  • Complete a questionnaire and take part in an informal discussion.


  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good communication skills
  • Computer literate
  • Physical fitness
  • A head for heights
  • Technical competence.


You will be paid while you learn.


The following CITB grants are available for employers to fund their apprentices on this course:

If you applied for your apprenticeship through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, only applicants aged between 16 and 18 who have not been placed on a training scheme before are guaranteed full funding.

How to apply

Call 0300 456 5037 for course dates and how to apply. 

After this course

You can be assessed for higher NVQs at the National Construction College. We provide details to all trainees.