3D printing is now employed across multiple manufacturing sectors in a variety of materials, producing everything from simple tools to major parts for aero engines.

The programmes, which will be launched in September this year, will aim to provide a pipeline of technicians fully skilled in one of the fastest growing advanced manufacturing technologies in industry.

Explains learning design manager Martin Dury: "While there are a number of additive training courses currently available in the UK, these tend to be focused on equipment use. The MTC is aiming to provide additive manufacturing apprenticeships that will cover the whole range of competences necessary for specific occupations. They will also offer accredited curricula of short courses to enable the up-skilling of existing staff.

"We are currently writing competency frameworks that will define the knowledge, skills and behavior required to operate in the various job roles in an end-to-end additive manufacturing production environment. These frameworks will then form the foundation for the apprenticeship programmes and short course curricula. We have spent the last three months consulting with industry, manufacturers, OEMs and academia to ensure the frameworks exactly match the needs of industry."

He continues: "The MTC is an acknowledged world leader in additive technology and the home of the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing. We have all the equipment and capabilities to deliver first class, sector-wide and technology agnostic programmes for apprentices or existing employees. The manufacturing industry is crying out for this and we will be able to make it available in a format which allows people to learn while earning, funded by the apprenticeship levy."

Anyone with additive manufacturing expertise who would like to contribute to the design of these competency frameworks is invited to contact the MTC.