North Manchester college launches delivery of its first national apprenticeship

A North Manchester college is opening its virtual doors to welcome apprentices from across the country.

Hopwood Hall College and University Centre – which has campuses in Middleton and Rochdale, Greater Manchester – will officially deliver its very first online apprenticeship pathway in February 2023.

The Level 3 Apprenticeship in Fire, Emergency and Security Systems has been hugely successful when being delivered at the college’s renowned Technology Centre.

It is now being expanded to feature a new distance learning option that can be undertaken by anyone aged 19+ across England.

The pathway will comprise of all the elements that has made it so successful when delivered in person.

This includes teaching from expert tutors, gaining experience through strong ties to industry, and the promise of mastering cutting edge equipment and engineering techniques.

However, the training will largely take place digitally – in the process allowing talent from across the country to pursue this popular route while receiving on-the-job training at workplaces all over England.

Apprentices will be able to focus on establishing themselves with their employer, with six hours each week devoted to learning and development through online training with Hopwood Hall.

They will only need to attend in-person for three one-week blocks during each year of their three-year apprenticeship.

During this time these individuals will become proficient at using industry-standard equipment at the college’s campus in Middleton, which is a centre for excellence in the north west.

The Level 3 Apprenticeship in Fire, Emergency and Security Systems will equip the engineers of tomorrow with the skills to detect intrusion, provide surveillance, monitor and control access to properties, and to detect fire and emergencies.

Billy Gilchrist, Apprenticeship Lead for Fire & Security, Electrical, and Engineering at Hopwood Hall College and University Centre, said: 

“We’re thrilled to give distance learners the opportunity to reap the rewards that come from completing this sought-after apprenticeship.

“Our aim is always to provide the highest calibre of training so that we can drive quality, helping to professionalise standards and fuelling growth in the industry.

“This really is an incredible opportunity – both for the apprentice and their employer!”

The remote apprenticeship’s launch comes as the wider industry adjusts to changing guidelines on standards issued by the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council).

In particular, it is no longer acceptable for accredited companies to use non-accredited contractors. 

This industry shift towards greater quality and qualifications mean that those who complete the course will be perfectly positioned to tackle all manner of jobs in a wide range of settings.

Just one of the ways the apprentice will become a major asset to their employer is through gaining the coveted ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) card.

*The Level 3 Apprenticeship in Fire, Emergency and Security Systems starts in February 2023. Apprentices must have GCSE Maths and English and be aged 19 or over.

For more information, please contact or visit


Middleton Campus
Rochdale Road, Middleton
Manchester, M24 6XH
0161 643 7560
Rochdale Campus
St. Mary’s Gate
Rochdale, OL12 6RY
01706 345 346