Toolmakers produce precision tools like jigs, dies and moulds that are used by engineering craftspeople to manufacture a range of products.

They work mainly with metals, alloys and composite materials known as “stocks” or castings to produce highly accurate completed products.

Apprentices can be involved in a variety of jobs ranging from machining basic components to the installation and commissioning of injection mould tools.  

The toolmaking & machining programme is designed to provide skills in the manufacturing and maintenance of  precision tools for the engineering and manufacturing industry. 


The Framework

Within the framework apprentices develop their skills in practical and theory based learning, as well as developing wider skills and gaining an understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Qualifications covered in the frame work are:

  • NVQ Extended Diploma in Engineering Toolmaking or machining
  • L3 BTEC Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering
  • L2 Functional Skills in ICT 
  • Workbook in Employee Rights & Responsibilities (ERR) 
  • Workbook in Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)


Introductory Training

All apprentices are required to undertake three level two units of introductory off the job training. This can be done either in 2.5 days a week for 36 weeks or 4 days a week for 23 weeks depending upon the employer requirements. 

The units undertaken are:

  • Hand skills
  • Milling
  • Turning


NVQ Pathways

Within this apprenticeship the below pathways are available for the work-based NVQ training:

  • Machining
  • Milling
  • Turning
  • Toolmaking



Entry Requirements

Minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C,  including; Maths and English (or equivalent)

Alternatively, you may have completed a suitable full-time programme at Level 2 and have L2 qualifications in Maths and English, 

You will be interviewed by both the employer and swdt to assess your suitability and interest in the programme.


Course Cost

The course if fully funded for all learners aged 16-18 on the start date of their programme. 

For all 19+ learners employers are required to pay a contribution to training.

Any employers requiring further details, please email: 


Course Duration

The duration for the advanced Apprenticeship is 42 months 

This may be reduced due to consideration of previous  qualifications and experience.