Technical Authors are the specialists who generate written instructions on how to perform all kinds of technical tasks in a safe controlled way. It’s a skill that is in demand across a wide range of industries ranging from car assembly, aircraft maintenance to telecommunications.
At AWE the role of Technical Author involves producing documentation that explains how to safely build, support and service the UK’s nuclear deterrent. To enable you to understand the technology you will be writing about, you will spend the first three years studying Control and Instrumentation.
C&I is one of only two 'critical trades' at AWE and is vital to the success of our mission. Put simply, C&I engineers enable a wide range of different automated processes to run. Your final year will be spent learning Desk Top Publishing and Technical Authorship. At the end of your apprenticeship you will be able to:
• Understand the technology
• Collaborate with subject matter experts to clarify technical issues
• Gather and understand the information needs of the user
• Organise and articulate information in a clear and concise written instruction for issue to users undertaking technical tasks.
What does a typical day look like?
As an apprentice you will initially be based within the onsite training facility where you will develop a basic knowledge of C&I and learn the associated skills. You will further your knowledge through academic studies on day release at college. Thereafter you will progress to the manufacturing aspect of your training where you will start to apply these core skills in a live working environment. This will include servicing, repairing and installing various systems to support our facilities: temperature control, flow and pressure measurement, display gauges and recorders. Only after you complete three years studying C&I and become a qualified maintenance engineer will you start to look at Technical Authoring. Your final year will be spent applying your knowledge to written work instructions. You will go on placements around the business learning communication techniques, and gain a Diploma in Technical Authorship, as you work towards the completion of your level 4 technical certificate.
Technical Authoring may appeal to you if you enjoy:
• Understanding how systems/machinery/assemblies work
• Observing and writing
• Problem solving activities
• Computer related activities.
• Applying engineering principles into real life scenarios
Fundamental skills required for the role:
• A practical aptitude for engineering or technology
• PC literate
• Great communication skills both written and in person
• Good command of grammar and vocabulary
• Excellent team working skills
• Health and safety aware
• Effective at following instructions
• Ability to concentrate for long periods
• Passion for your chosen profession
Two A Levels at grade C or above. One subject in English or Mathematics (or equivalent)
Qualifications achieved during the apprenticeship:
Level 4 NVQ Extended Diploma in Engineering Maintenance (Technical Certificate)
• Higher National Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering (Technical certificate)
• Level 2 English, Maths & ICT (Functional Skills) – If required
• Technical Authorship Diploma
• Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)
• Process Safety Awareness Certificate
Duration of apprenticeship: 4 years