Building the next generation of engineers via our trusted Apprenticeship program

Benefits of joining our Apprenticeship Scheme

Develop sought after skills
Did you know that engineers are in incredibly high demand? There has never been a better time to train. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to develop valuable skills that many companies are constantly on the lookout for.

Gain practical and relevant experience
Today’s Apprenticeships offer a structured programme of essential theoretical learning at college and practical on the job training. As an example, our own Apprentice training programme places you with some of the most experienced professionals in the industry, learning about both the theoretical and practical side of engineering first-hand and developing your knowledge in a range of areas

Earn while you learn and take on no debt
As an Apprentice, you’ll be paid while learning a new set of skills. Imagine becoming fully qualified and not having to pay off University fees at the end of it.

Achieve a nationally recognised qualification
In addition to making new friends and contacts, gaining valuable experience, and developing sought after skills, you can also earn a nationally recognised qualification – such as a BTEC, NVQ or HNC. This is a solid foundation to begin your career on and will help you in the future to explore and seize opportunities in the engineering sector.

Meet some of our previous Apprentices

We understand that making plans for your future can be daunting. Learn more about three of our Apprentices who have completed their training and are now progressing their careers within The Shearline Group to realise what starting your career with us could look like for you.



Hi, I’m Tom and I started at Shearline as an Apprentice in the summer of 2014.

I was studying for my A Levels at Long Road 6th Form, in Cambridge, and decided that going to university just wasn’t for me. I wanted to steer away from the classroom and focus more by learning hands on. I’m definitely one of those people that learn better on the job!

Between 2014 and 2019, I spent one day a week at Cambridge Regional College. In this time, I completed a Level 2 PEO, a Level 3 BTEC and a Level 4 HNC in Mechanical Engineering.

There were a few things that really attracted me to working at Shearline. The location is ideal – I was living in Ely, so my commuting costs were minimal.

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Shearline also had (and still does have) a very good reputation for taking on apprentices every year – it’s a big place so there are lots of departments to try, and opportunities for growth and development. The thing that really caught my attention to Shearline was the 4.5-day week, having Friday afternoons off was a big plus for me. Now there’s the option of a 4-day working week and having a 3-day weekend every week is a huge perk!

Before starting at Shearline, I had zero knowledge of engineering! I remember my first few days in the factory thinking that the machine shop screens were like a completely new language – but it didn’t take long to pick up, and now it’s second nature.

Having completed my Apprenticeship, I spent just under a year working in the 5 Axis milling section (as a programmer, setter, operator). In 2019, I was promoted to the Cell Leader for the 5 Axis area and that’s still my role today. I am keen to keep finding ways to improve the efficiencies of the section and enjoy working closely with the current apprentices to give them the opportunity to excel.

Further down the line, I am potentially looking to move out of the machine shop and into an office role, but that’s a little way off yet!


Hello, Kirsty here!

In August 2012, I started as an Apprentice and completed a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration.

Originally, I had planned to go to University – I got offered a place at The University of Portsmouth to do a Business and Economics Degree, but I just wasn’t sure if it was really what I wanted. I was worried that I’d spend four years getting into debt without any guarantee of a decent job at the end of it. So, I decided to look at other options.

I was looking through the Find an Apprenticeship website and came across Shearline. At the time, it was rare to find an Admin based scheme local to Ely. The thing that really appealed to me was the fact Shearline’s Apprentices learn via a departmental round robin – I was keen to gain experience in multiple areas to see which I enjoyed most. I quickly realised that Sales wasn’t for me!

Apprenticeships Kirsty

During the interview process, I spoke to 9 people who all asked me questions and explained in detail about the role. Whilst walking through the factory, I felt there was a good, friendly buzz. It seemed a good size – over 100 employees yet still with a family feel.

Upon completion of my Level 3 NVQ, I became a planning assistant – responsible for printing works orders, checking materials and organising the ‘work to’ lists.

In 2015, I was promoted to Shearline’s planner. This was a big jump in terms of responsibility, but I felt ready for the challenge given that the management team were always approachable and ready to get stuck in if I needed a hand. I am still in this role today, I love it! Over the last couple of years, I have taken on some large improvement projects – there’s always something to get my teeth stuck in to.

The people are really what makes the place for me – everyone genuinely cares about the success of The Shearline Group. There’s a good mix of people that have been here a long time with invaluable knowledge along with new faces with fresh ideas.

I don’t just feel like a number on a payroll – the company cares and there are lots of perks: attendance bonus, Christmas parties and treats if we hit our targets!

As cliché as this may sound, I feel like the company has truly invested in me and treated me well over the years and I want to invest and do well back.


Hello, Lee here.

I started my NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship in fabrication and welding in the August of 1997 – I started here a few weeks after sitting my GCSEs. Coming here straight from school, I didn’t have any engineering knowledge – other than what was taught in my D&T classes! I was Shearline’s first Sheet Metal Apprentice and proudly still here today managing the Fabrications department and guiding our new Apprentices.

I chose the Apprenticeship path because I wanted to earn some money as well as gain qualifications, this led me to looking at the Apprenticeship option – it seemed the best of both worlds.

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There’s a great group of people here at Shearline and I enjoy the variety of work. Working in a company of this size, with lots of processes all under one roof, means I often see parts in our assembly area that I had a hand in prototyping, and I still get a kick out of that!

Since completing my Apprenticeship in 2001, I have worked in various roles across the Fabrications department. I spent 12 years working on the laser and then I became the programmer for the department. In 2018, I became a production engineer and in late 2019 I took on my current role. It’s challenging at times, as it’s busier than it’s ever been – I’m looking forward to seeing The Shearline Group continue to grow.


A minimum of Maths GCSE Grade 5 or above

Generally speaking, we take on four apprentices every year.

Not necessarily! A keen interest in engineering and a desire to learn is far more important.

We offer a competitive hourly rate above the national minimum wage. There are annual pay reviews which are reviewed in line with performance.

Most of our Apprentices have gone on to secure permanent positions within The Group.

The annual application window runs from April through to end of May each year. All applications are reviewed and those that are successful are invited to The Shearline Group assessment day.

During this assessment, the shortlisted candidates will meet with a wide range of people from across the factory and be asked to undertake a number of engineering tasks. A tour of our factories is given, and a formal interview is held.

Following the assessment day, 4 applicants will be offered a position to join The Shearline Group and start their journey as an Apprentice.

Yes, you will attend college one or two days a week. Being an employee of The Shearline Group, you will still need to attend during College half term holidays and the Summer holiday.

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