1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an Engineering Technician apprentice, day to day roles are usually described as 'staff' or 'office' jobs. In reality, they can include work both in and out of the office, computer based tasks or hands on jobs. My role gives me the chance to go out and look at the finished product, take notes and photos, before coming back to my desk to draft out planning operations to implement a new item where it has been requested.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. The main skills that are developed in every work-based placement for me have been time management/organization and communication. To get jobs done to the best of your ability, you really have to learn how to be as organized as possible and communicate effectively whether it be in person, or via email etc. I've also learnt more specific skills within placement such as learning to use new software.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme because of the variety of work I get to undertake, the amount of opportunties we are given to take part in various things e.g. Apprentice Exchange, WorldSkills UK competitions etc., and being able to still do college studies at the same time.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As an apprentice, I feel very valued. Mainly because, as I've mentioned above, we are given such a wide range of opportunites to take part in different activities and we are always encouraged to try these different things or put forward our own suggestions.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think my programme is very well structured during the first year which is spent at the training school and includes all the core hand skills, vary specialization, an Outward Bound week, and Charity Challenge programme. Once you get into work based placement, I think it is a bit less organized/structured as a technician, but I believe this is a positive as it is a result of us being given freedom to say 'I'd like to do a placement in X place'.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
In the first year, we get a lot of support from our training provider as we are working with them. When we are in work-based learning, we get support with the work based learning (NVQ) and can easily get support should we have any issues, however we don't neccessarily regularly see members of the team unless we specifically request to.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Managers in work based placements are always very supportive, and many of them have been apprentices themselves so they are keen to make sure you are getting the most out of your time in their department. The Company as a whole is very supportive in lots of different ways, for example, giving time out of the business to take part in ambassador activities or competitions. Also, towards the end of the apprenticeship and beyond, if you want to continue higher education, you can apply for funding from the Company to continue your studies.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Personally, my salary/package easily meets my financial needs because I still live with my parents. I think if I had my own home and all the bills that come with it, I wouldn't have much to spare.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
We all have the chance to register as 'Education Ambassadors', which gives us chance to get out in local schools/colleges or go to local events to promote the apprenticeship, help out with STEM activities or similar. There is also plenty of chance to get involved with volunteer charity work, external competitions (WorldSkills UK) and so on.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
Apprenticeships in general are a really good experience as you are getting paid while you learn. BAE Systems is a very good place to do this mainly because they really value the apprenticeships and how they can benefit the Company, and as such we are given a lot of chances to do all sorts of activities, a very good chance of getting the job we want, and a lot of support should we have any issues or suggestions/ideas.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Know why you want to come and work at BAE Systems, and more importantly what we do as a Company and what the apprenticeship entails. All it takes is a quick google search, and you'll give a much better impression should you get an interview, and also it might help you to decide more if yes it definitely is what you want to do, or no it's not quite what I thought it was.
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