High technology industry (Aerospace, Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Power Generation and Distribution etc.) trained its professional engineers via the advanced apprenticeship system of learning - usually a 5-year process. The higher Apprenticeship framework in the 1950s, 60s and 70s was designed to allow young people (16 years) an alternative path to A Levels to achieve an academic qualification at level 4 or 5 NVQ. The Higher Apprenticeship Framework was open to young people who had a minimum of 4 GCE "O" Levels to enroll in an Ordinary National Certificate or Diploma or a City & Guilds technician course. For advanced engineering apprenticeships "O" Levels had to include Mathematics, Physics, and English language. The advanced apprenticeship framework's purpose was to provide a supply of young people seeking to enter work-based learning via apprenticeships by offering structured high value learning and transferable skills and knowledge. These apprenticeships were enabled by linking industry with local technical colleges and professional Engineering Institutions.

The Advanced Apprenticeship Framework offered clear pathways and outcomes that addressed the issues facing the industry. This system was in place since the 1950s. The system provided young people with an alternative to staying in full-time education post- 16/18 to gain pure academic qualifications without work-based learning. The Advanced Apprenticeship's of the 1950s 60s and 70s provided the necessary preparation towards Engineering Technician. Technician Engineer or Chartered Engineer registration. Apprentices undertook a variety of job roles in numerous technical functions to assist the work of engineers, in the design, development, manufacture and maintenance of production system.

In modern times, apprenticeship became less important, especially as employment in heavy industry and artisan trades has declined since the 1980s. Traditional apprenticeships reached their lowest point in the 1980s: by that time, training programmes were rare and people who were apprentices learned mainly by example.