Motor Vehicle (Light) Apprenticeship

Qualification: Advanced
Level 3

There are start dates for this apprenticeship throughout the year. Please apply and our apprenticeship team will be in contact with you to discuss.

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About this apprenticeship

A motor vehicle technician services and repairs light vehicles such as cars and vans and works either in dealerships that focus on a particular manufacturer, or for an independent garage that deals with many different makes of vehicles. To do well, technicians will have an interest in motor vehicles as well as a capacity for mechanical reasoning and good spatial awareness.

Current Apprenticeship Vacancies >>

What you will learn

As a technician, you will learn how to work independently but also operate as an effective team member and have good customer handling skills. You will understand how the workshop and the dealership/garage functions from a commercial perspective and identify ways in which they can work more efficiently.

Technicians working in large dealerships work with other departments, for example carrying out work for the Sales Department and ordering parts from the Parts Department, whereas apprentices in smaller independent garages may be called upon to carry out some of the function of the other departments themselves, for example managing their own delivery of parts.

As a technician, you will also work on all the systems found within the vehicle. The day-to-day work ranges from replacing simple parts to solving complex faults with the use of diagnostic methods and equipment. The tasks faced are constantly changing, driven by the introduction of ever more complex technologies and diagnostic techniques, the college will aim to introduce you to different tasks and challenges you may come across, which you can put into practice in the workplace.

Although there is no qualification embedded in this program, there is a requirement for you to achieve your F-Gas certificate in order to complete the apprenticeship. This is not something we deliver on-site at City College Southampton, so will have to be done off-site and would be at an additional cost to your employer. You will also have a logbook that will be completed alongside your apprenticeship.

Learning style

As an apprentice, you can expect to undertake work-based learning with an employer who will pay you a wage. Throughout the duration of your apprenticeship, you will attend college for one day per week.

The rest of your training will take place in-house at your workplace by your employer and a qualified assessor who will visit you on-site who will complete assessments and progress reviews.

In order to complete the apprenticeship, you will undertake an End Point Assessment. It measures the knowledge, skills and behaviours each apprentice has developed and will include an online knowledge test, a skills test, and a professional discussion. This part of the apprenticeship is employer-led, so it will be your employer who decides if you are ready to undertake your End Point Assessment.

If you would like to read more about the knowledge, skills and behaviours the standard includes, please click here.


Learn in our large purpose built motor vehicle workshop equipped with the latest diagnostic testing and repair facilities. At City College it’s not just about cars – a range of commercial and heavy goods vehicles are also available to practise on.

Entry requirements

To start the apprenticeship, you will need an employer who is willing to take you on as an apprentice, all of which will have different requirements. If you already have an employer, please contact us. If not, we have a current vacancies page which is regularly updated.

You will be required to attend an initial assessment in Maths and English and a short interview prior to enrolment, and you will be expected to have a C/4 or Level 2 Functional Skill in Maths and English to enter gateway in order for you to complete your End Point Assessment.

Course length & fees
  • Fees:
  • Course Length: 18 months
  • Campus: Main
What next?

Possible careers

  • Light vehicle Diagnostic Technician
  • Motorcycle Diagnostic Technician
  • Auto Electrical Diagnostic Technician
  • Mobile Electrical Installation Diagnostic Technician

This apprenticeship has been designed to be recognised by relevant Professional Engineering Institutions and successful apprentices can apply for the appropriate level of professional registration.

Additional information

Information for Employers

Each apprenticeship needs to include 20% off-the-job training. This must amount to 20% of the apprentice’s contracted employment hours across the whole apprenticeship. Off-the-job training is learning undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. Off the Job Training should also be relevant to the knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard.

End Point Assessment

Each apprentice will need to undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA) at the end of their apprenticeship.  It measures the knowledge, skills and behaviours each apprentice has developed. 

An apprentice can only take this assessment once all other aspects of the apprenticeship have been completed.  An apprentice needs to be completely ready to take this assessment and the employer and assessor will decide when the time is right.  A declaration will be signed by both the employer, apprentice and assessor.  If the apprentice fails the assessment, then there will be a re-sit charge, which is generally paid by the employer.

The EPA Consists of 3 discrete assessment methods:

1. Online knowledge test – two sections to complete

2. Skills test – completed over two consecutive days

3. Professional discussion

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?
Click here for more information