1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am in the first year of a 4 year apprenticeship. This means that I am in the CEMAST College full time. Day to day consists of completing assignments and attending lectures.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed the ability to operate a lathe and a mill as well as writing codes for CNC machines and designing CAD models and drawings. I have also developed skills in calculating stresses and bending moments and calculating the operating parameters of fluid flows and water turbines.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have not yet had an opportunity to enter the actual work place, but I feel that the HNC has been fairly enjoyable (learning the new skills). I feel that the actual apprenticeship has lived up to my expectation, but the college I am based at has not. The college has had high numbers of lecturers leaving, which has affected my course. As well as this, the facilities are not up to scratch. For instance, the only computer room is almost always booked out.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I feel that I am valued by BAE Systems as a future employee. My manager seems to appreciate me being there and I feel as though I am motivated to achieve good grades in the HNC and HND.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction week was good. it showed us exactly what to expect from the programme and I know what to expect in the future and what is going on. However, the college did not have any structure for most of the year. We went a couple of months without a lecturer in one subject, which put us all behind. There was no induction week at the college and it took a long time for a uniform timetable to be developed.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider (college) has given me some guidance and support. I feel that some lecturers are really good and some are not so good. A couple have attitude problems and would rather try to tell you off, even if you are not in the wrong. Some paint all in the college with the same brush. There should be a clear distinction between HNC/ HND students and the other students. There was no induction week.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has not given me much support, other than showing me what is involved. This is because I have not required support beyond check ups to see how I am doing.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am currently living with my parents, so I do not have many living costs or rent costs. However, from what I have seen, it is enough money to pay for rent and food and still have money left over. It is like being paid to go to college (in the first year) so you can't complain.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have always lived in the same area, so the external opportunities are unchanged from before I joined the company. As of so far, there has only been one company(ish) activity and that is gliding.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
This is because they are a big, respectable and safe firm, which puts you through a good apprenticeship and is enjoyable. If you have an interest in ships then it is perfect. They also produce and design world leading technologies.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Be confident when producing presentations and undergoing interviews. Make sure you complete assignments when they are given and work on the project throughout. Triple check all of your work and do re-works straight away.
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