Product Design Engineer Apprenticeship

Why it's a great idea to become an apprentice at Whitecroft 


A modern apprenticeship with Whitecroft is a great way to earn while you learn. You’ll study towards a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering while applying the skills you’re learning in a real-life working environment. At Whitecroft we know being at work should also be fun, that’s why we have a social club which organises extracurricular activities and charity events throughout the year as well as business wide summer and Christmas events. 


Become a Product Designer Engineer

Design products that make a difference


You’ll work as part of a team designing products that make a difference. This will involve considering sustainability, understanding and learning about the latest trends and being inspired by advanced technologies and techniques. You’ll experience first-hand the new world of robot production, additive manufacturing, injection moulding, extrusions, castings, spinnings and steel fabrication in our in-house manufacturing facility. You’ll be involved in industry-leading product innovation that enables us to secure contracts in education, healthcare, commercial and industry sectors. Working alongside and being supported by our experienced colleagues is a massive part of an apprenticeship. You’ll learn real world skills that will be a huge advantage for your future career.


Receive a nationally certified and professional qualification


You’ll be studying for the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship (Level 3), a 4-year programme leading to a nationally certified and professional qualification. Your first year is spent mainly in college to make sure you have a good basic knowledge of the subject. In your second year you will continue to study with your training provider on a one-day release basis, with constant support and guidance from your mentor. During your final two years you’ll complete your qualification and achieve your level 3 apprenticeship. You’ll now be qualified for a career in product design. There are no tuition fees or costs when doing your apprenticeship qualification, it’s fully funded by Whitecroft.  


Continue you career development 


Following successful completion of the course you can continue you career development with Whitecroft and go on to specialise in one of these areas:

Special Product Design


If designing bespoke products, to meet the specific requirements of clients, appeals to you, Special Product Design could be right for you. You’ll have the opportunity to use the latest professional 3D CAD design software, Solid Edge to achieve the necessary design features. You’ll liaise with customers, visiting them on site to gain commercial experience and knowledge to deliver the most appropriate solutions. You’ll produce prototypes for customer approval, using a wide range of specialist manufacturing techniques including 3D rapid prototyping. And you’ll be designing products for high-profile clients such as Manchester Airport, Tesco and Zara. This is a stimulating design area where your engineering and inter-personal skills will be key to achieving good client relationships and excellent end products.

New Product Development


The area of New Product Development embraces the values of sustainability and the concept of circularity, as the engineering industry plays its part in getting to Net Zero. It also requires the design of highly tooled products for mass production using techniques such as injection mouldings, casting and extrusions. You’ll be involved in developing and delivering technical presentations as part of the New Product Development process and be responsbile for setting objectives, prototyping, testing and evaluation. In addition, you’ll be working with Marketing and Product Management as well as multiple manufacturing suppliers, to ensure products meet the needs of the market and that the benefits are communicated effectively.

Program structure and qualifications

Year 1: Level 2 - Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. Foundation Competence.

Year 2: Level 2 - Qualification on day release. Evaluation Assurance Level.

Year 3: Level 3 - Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. Development Competence.

Year 4: Level 3 - Diploma or Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. Development Knowledge.


Who are we looking for?

In addition to 5 GCSEs at Grades 5-9 including Maths (Grade 6-9), English and Science or their equivalent, we’ll expect you to have genuine interest in mechanical or electrical engineering, have bags of commitment and enthusiasm, plus be comfortable with Maths and Physics. In return, we’ll offer you a solid foundation and a deeper insight into real-world challenges so that you can successfully launch your professional career.

Apply today

Toby Irwin

Trainee Design Engineer

Of his time on the Product Design Engineer Apprenticeship, Toby says that it was both challenging and rewarding: 

“I’ve had a great mentor and fantastic support over the last four years. A large focus of the company is developing its employees, which is perfect for an apprentice! I’ve had the opportunity to move through different teams in the Design department where I’ve learned a variety of skills and after finishing the course I decided to join the Special Product Design team.” 

As for the future, Toby sees himself with the company long-term, and hopes, “to further his product design skills and knowledge and move into a specialism or a managerial role.”

Why choose us?

In recent years, Whitecroft Lighting has been at the forefront of sustainability and circularity in UK commercial lighting, leading the market in the development of products that minimise the use of material and promote reusability through replaceable modular hardware. In order to ensure our continued success and product innovation, we continually seek out new talent. 

We look to our apprentices to be our leaders, managers and technicians of the future, and so take great care, and place great emphasis on, nurturing the talent that joins us.

Four year apprenticeship

Over a four-year period we will provide funding to help you achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. 

You will be given the support you need to succeed and will have an appointed mentor, plus your development will continue throughout your career at Whitecroft. 

Personal Development Plan

You’ll be given a personalised plan from day one to ensure your development.

Our Professional Development Programme is constantly revised and updated to reflect the changing dynamics of the lighting industry, with modules including everything from smart controls through to sustainable lighting.


Apply today

International Placement

As a member of the Fagerhult Group, we are part of a global network of lighting manufacturers, with over 4,000 employees in 30 countries worldwide.

Your talents and skills will be expanded and supported by training and on-the-job experience, including an international placement within the Fagerhult Group.