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Colm Hofler

Chemical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Colm Hofler
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Metal Fabricator
In Summary header image

Metal Fabricator

The Metal Fabricator’s work involves the installation and manufacture of a range of metallic systems to include pressure vessels, tank and boiler manufacture, structural steel systems, plate steel systems and piping systems.

Metal fabricators can shape steel components with the aid of thermal cutting equipment and a range of machinery used in bending, folding and cutting metal plate and pipe components.

Thermal processes such as MMA (Manual Metal Arc) welding, TIG/TAG (Tungsten Inert Gas and Tungsten Active Gas) welding MIG/MAG (Metal Inert Gas and Metal Active Gas welding and oxy acetylene welding and brazing are skills used by the metal fabricator.

Metal Fabricators require many skills including:
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand and power tools
  • Knowledge of a range of metal fabrication processes
  • Performing a range of welding processes
  • Interpreting technical drawings and specifications
  • Measuring, marking out, cutting and welding mild steel, stainless steel, alloy steels and aluminium plate and pipe
  • Installation of structural steel systems

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade. 

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Training header image

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills 
Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks) 
Course Content:
  • Induction
  • Basic Fabrication
  • Thermal Processes
  • Plate Fabrication
  • Structural Steel Fabrication
  • Pipe Fabrication
  • Fabrication Drawing
Phase 3: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments 

Phase 4:
 Delivered in Educational Colleges (11 weeks) 
Course Content: 
  • Thermal Processes
  • Plate Fabrication
  • Structural Fabrication
  • Pipe Fabrication
  • Fabrication Drawing
Phase 5: With Employer 
Work Based Training and Assessments 

Phase 6:
 Delivered in Educational Colleges (11 weeks) 
Course Content:
  • Thermal Processes
  • Plate Fabrication
  • Structural Fabrication
  • Pipe Fabrication
  • Fabrication Drawing
  • Related Theory
Phase 7: With Employer 

Work Based Training and Assessments 

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed. 

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Metal Fabrication.


Personal Qualities header image

As a Metal Fabricator you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail.

The Metal Fabricator must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Using tools and operating machinery
  • Being responsible for controlling or adjusting equipment
  • Demonstrate good analytical and troubleshooting skills
  • Understanding technical drawings and diagrams
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Keeping up to date with changing technologies
  • Being physically active
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Working in a noisy environment
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn


Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:

 

All other Trades

Electrical

Apprentices

APPRENTICE RATE

€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate

5.73

8.61

12.91

15.49

6.22

9.33

13.48

16.59

Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.


Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age. 
The minimum educational requirements are: 
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
or 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Metal Work
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Technology
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.


Career Opportunities header image

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.


Occupation Profile header image

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Progression Routes header image

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Occupation Data

Metal Fabricator

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