1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
From joing BAE Systems and starting my apprenticeship, the past 10 months, I have chosen the type of department to learn in and expirienced three diversial job roles within this.
Each one has been completely different up to now, therefore widening my knowledge of the role i want to go into and the differnt types of working environments.
On a day to day basis I complete tasks which will go towards my NVQ L3 and contribute towards the workload within my team. I am constantly learning, i have an immediate supervisor and a team leader/ manager to support me throughout this. This also benefits me as it gives me an understanding of the hierarchy of the business and who is apporpriate to report into.
I am alo supported throughout by the Apprentcie assessors and the union, if i feel the need or comforted by speaking to them.
As part of training we are almost constantly being sent on training courses and attend college every other week to gain qualifications within the business world, Such as a business management course.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned many skills in my short time here as well as developing existing skills.
For example, i am already a rather bubbly/ confident girl; but since joinging BAE i have learned how to progress being confident and bubbly in a more professional entity. From transitioning straight from High school to a working job, it can be quite difficult to learn how to adapt your behaviours especially when some offices may contain the types of people who enjoy the occasional 'banter'... But you just have to learn how to deal with different types of people and not take it a step too far.
In terms of actual business skills; you may think you're excellent with managing your time, but you wont have expireinced actually manging time and work load untill working your Apprenticeship at BAE Systems. You're given a lot of repsonibility and expected to take it into your own responsibility, in comparison with school where you will be reminded constantly of deadlines without even noticing, you must manage all your workload for the apprenticeship as well as the workload within the business. Therefore forcing you to use techniques such as action lists manually/ electronically, calender blocking, prioritsing and actually learning to use the word 'no' or 'give me 5 minutes' rather than putting asdide your own work to help somebody else straight away.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I couldnt really rate how i have enjoyed the programme due to it not being over yet, however, i am definetly glad that i took this apprenticeship rather than attend community college. I think this is due to it personally suiting my needs; i like to learn (history, art and business etc) but i prefer working with adults and the working environment. I personally know that if i went to college i would also have been working a part time job in to the floor, therefore not being able to concentrate and dedicate myself to my exams. This is because i like to live, shop and go places - therefore needing money. And with this apprenticeship i get the best of both worlds. I am earing and learning my own way in life along with gaining skills which i can transfer to other job roles as well as succed within the business i am currently in.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I have found that i am more valued than i previously thought i would be; coming into this apprenticeship i had the idea that i would move around the business but not be given much attenton due the the other collegues probably thinking 'why would i waste my time teaching a 16/17 year old how to do a job i have been doing for years'. But my judgement was completely wrong. The people i have worked with so far, are willing to dedicate their own time into me, making sure that i understand and know what i am doing - they want to see my succeed and i personally find that motivating that somebody can have that much faith in me and actually want to dedicate time of their own to me.
Yet, at the same time, i dont feel like this with everybody i come across. Being so young, you do get the odd person (especailly those higher up) who will not take you seriously, but then again you dont deal directly with those so far ahead of you. For those reading this who have dealt and felt the same as i, just think even though it may feel demoralising when you expirience this, you just have to think about how some people are stuck in their ways and nothing will change how they view people - by grade and status not by personality and how good you are at your job.
Even though it has been shown that the company values apprentices and see them as their future, i still feel as though we are not all given the opportunities we deserve - yes it may be competetitve to get an opportunity but sometimes i think we are discretely judged on why we do not get given that opportunity. However, i have learnt that this comes with every business you work in and some people do it sub-consciously. Overall, i would say that this is my own personal flaw i find with the business training school in terms of value and opportunity.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I would say that the apprenticeship is VERY well structured. They have been doing it for years and with this time they have organsied the best possible ways for us to gain the skills we need to suceed along with complete the apprenticeship and gain expirience in different job roles.
Ofocurse there can be confusion with thimgs, that happens on a day to day basis - but overall they get the majority of things spot on. They develop us according to our developing needs and structure the way they set work (NVQ wise) around this. Which is great considering they have done this based on observation and feedback, every 6/12 weeks.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I recieve as much support as neccessary, i am learning not to be afraid when asking for help or informing them that i will not be able to make a certain deadline due to certin activities that have took place within the work environment.
I recieve different amounts of support from different people: I feel as though i can speak to colleagues i have previously worked with and now have networked to develop that relationship where they will support me when needed. I also feel as though i can speak to the union members about personal problems and if i need to tell somebody how i am feeling. This also ties in the my training assessor, she supports me when needed and encourages me to speak to her about my progress and how i am finding things. From this we have found a balance of how to cope with workload and to gain confidence when completing certain tasks.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The employers i have worked with so far have been wodnerful, sometimes a little too busy, but consdiering that for 2/3 i have been one of their first appretniceses they have mapped out my objectives well, explained them and helped me acheieve them by having regular sit downs and discussions. They give me a lot of independency though - as part of growing into a full time employer - you will not be spoon fed a lot of information and they will encourage you to ask as many questions as possible but not to ask how to be shown to do stuff, they'd rather you thought for yourself on how to do this.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
This is one of the best paid apprentcieships in the country, i cant grumble much at all. Although with trying to invest within the company and manage my own money so i can save for the future, as well as getting to work, i just about have enough every month to do a few luxory things (not really neccessary to live) but i couldnt afford to live on my own as wel as travel to work. I do pay board at home and buy most of my own food, as well as car etc, i dont think i would have enough to live off after paying to rent etc..
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Due to being just under 18 i can not work over a certain amount of hours, therefore everyday i work the maximum of 8 hours so that i can get my work done and balance my life around a liftshare (which is what i use to get to work). Therefore no, there are not many opportunities for me outside of work and even if there was i wouldnt be able to take part due to the working time directive; whether it is work related or not.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
I think it is an amazing company to work for, and whether or not you enjoy your time here you will still get a lot of quailities and skills out of it and be able to transfer these throughout your lifetime and career. Other companies will appreciate your time and dedication to BAE Systems.
However, it is such a life changing edpirience and i think you need to be fully prepared for it, therefore if this 'friend' of mine lived in manchester i wouldnt reccomend unless they had a definite way of travelling to and from Samlesbury/ Warton BAE Systems.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Always be prepared, take every opportunity you get and do not waste a minute.