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Apprenticeships - what are they?  

An apprenticeship programme provides the opportunity to develop both your theoretical and practical skills and knowledge, all whilst gaining a vast amount of valuable experience within the workplace.

From an apprenticeship you will gain professionally recognised qualifications (e.g. BTEC, HNC, NVQ), alongside a starting point for a life-long career. Typically, an Ishida apprenticeship lasts for 4 years, with a mixture of attending college and day release at the Ishida Woodgate facility in Birmingham.

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Benefits of Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship can offer you more opportunities than other career pathways. Not only do you gain widely-accredited qualifications, but you also gain priceless industry knowledge and experience. The experience and practical skills you learn works hand in hand with the technical knowledge you develop through your qualifications, and all the while you are earning while you learn.

On the job experience

Whilst working within the company, you will work directly with Ishida products and develop your knowledge of the business from day one. You will not only learn the technical knowledge behind Ishida products, but also the soft skills you need to be able to succeed in any company.


The qualifications that you gain are recognised across all industries and will be sponsored by the company throughout your apprenticeship. You will work towards an NVQ, then depending on the level at which you come in you can study towards a range of qualifications from a Level 3 BTEC all the way up to a degree.


An apprenticeship sets you up to accelerate your career. There is a constant progression during your apprenticeship as you are learning every day, but there are also opportunities to progress through the different placements and experiences you have.

Earn while you learn

Alongside the qualifications and experience that the apprenticeship provides you, you will also be paid a competitive salary.

Meet Our Apprentices

Adam Witcomb

Adam Witcomb

Field Service Apprentice
Joined 2017

“An apprenticeship programme offers you the opportunity to develop both your theoretical and practical skills/knowledge, all whilst gaining a vast amount of valuable experiences within a workplace.”

Georgina Rhodes

Georgina Rhodes

Design Engineer Apprentice
Joined 2016

“My apprenticeship so far has been an exciting experience, allowing me to develop my soft skills and expand my existing knowledge whilst also exploring new software and integrating into the Design department. Ishida is giving me the opportunity to better myself, hand-in-hand with the necessary support.”

Emily James

Emily James

Manufacturing Operations Apprentice
Joined 2015

"I have always loved working with numbers and done well in maths. When studying for A-Levels, I got involved in as many engineering-related activities as I could. Being a woman was no hindrance to entry. I believe that you get out what you put in and that working in partnership with Ishida will strengthen my chances of success."

Tom Middleton

Tom Middleton

Manufacturing Operations Apprentice
Joined 2014

“My Ishida apprenticeship has given me countless opportunities to strive and develop; from the high-quality education on offer to the immensely valuable experience I have gained through working in an engineering environment. My work at Ishida has enabled me to start my career in engineering in an incredibly positive way, giving me opportunities such as travelling abroad to work alongside Senior Engineers, and winning prestigious awards.”

Matthew Hancock

Matthew Hancock

Electrical Engineer (Past Electrical Apprentice)
Joined 2013

"I was given many opportunities to build my education and technical knowledge, including electrical AutoCAD and SolidWorks Essentials courses. I also visited customer sites to experience machines operating under factory conditions. Now a valued member of the new applications controls team, my activities include electrical design and liaising with the production teams."

Dan Althorp

Dan Althorp

Project Engineer (Past Design Apprentice)
Joined 2011

“I’ve always wanted to be in the engineering industry and, for someone seeking an apprenticeship, Ishida offered me all the tools for a successful career. I’m now using my Mechanical Design experience to manage and develop projects across their lifecycles, from customer site survey through initial design development of processing/packaging lines to final installation and customer sign-off.”

Frequently asked questions

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Typically, an apprenticeship lasts between 2 and 4 years. At Ishida, our apprenticeships last 4 years.

What Qualifications will I gain?

The qualifications you gain will depend upon your pathway. On an advanced programme you will gain a Level 2 PEO, Level 3 BTEC and Level 4 HNC. On a higher programme you will gain a level 2 PEO, Level 4 HNC and a Level 5 HND.

How much will I earn?

“The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level e.g. some higher apprenticeships pay up to £500 per week.”. According to the website, find out more here.

What are the hours of work?

At Ishida we complete a standard 38.5 hour week. Our standard working hours are 8:30-17:00 Monday to Thursday and 8:30-16:30 on a Friday.

How will I gain my qualifications?

Most apprenticeship programmes have their apprentices attending college full time during their first-year with release back to work during the holidays. At Ishida, our apprentices attend college 4 days of the week (one day completing BTEC/HNC, 3 days completing PEO Units) with day release back to work on a Friday.

What are the entry requirements for an Advanced Apprenticeship?

Entry requirements for an Advanced Apprenticeship framework starting at Level 3 are 5 GCSE grades A*-C (5-9) in Mathematics, English and Science or an equivalent related qualification e.g. BTEC Level 2 Engineering or Resistant Materials.

What are the entry requirements for a Higher Apprenticeship?

Entry requirements for a Higher Apprenticeship framework starting at level 4 are 3 A-Levels and/or BTEC Level 3, or an equivalent related qualification in an engineering or science-related subject.

What will happen once I finish my apprenticeship?

When it’s all over, it’s not over – all of our graduating apprentices to date have transitioned into full-time roles at Ishida, in a specialist discipline of the business’ preference.

Opportunities with Ishida

With this apprenticeship, the opportunities that are available are limitless with past apprentices travelling all over Europe to visit suppliers and work on new groundbreaking projects.


There have been opportunities for apprentices to have placements both internal and external to the business through the Apprentice Exchange Scheme. These exchanges include spending weeks in a supplier’s business working with their processes and learning how Ishida parts are made, as well as placements within Ishida where apprentices have rotated around departments to learn how different areas work together.


There will be opportunities to advance your technical knowledge through different qualifications. If you wish to go on specific courses or develop your current qualifications then Ishida will always endeavour to facilitate this.


No matter your position in the company there are always different projects running in your department, which can see you having regular contact with the company’s directors or even have you follow the machines to their destinations to help install them. A wide variety of different opportunities can arise for you, if you are bold enough to take them!

Post apprenticeship

There will be countless opportunities to progress further once the apprenticeship is complete, due to you already having at least 4 years of industry experience alongside high-level qualifications. This will enable you to progress into new and exciting roles within the company.


Apprenticeship Pathways  

Find out more  

Parenting Guide

A parent's guide to Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeship

Entry Level: GCSEs or equivalent.

Higher Apprenticeships

Entry Level: A-Levels or equivalent