1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The higher apprenticeship with BAE Systems (maritime - submarines) is placement based, this means that throughout your time within the business you will experience many different job roles.
My most recent placement was with in the Physical Design team. Here, I worked with design briefs to support a team in producing design drawings and requirements. I produced supporting documentation and occasionally visited a nearby rig to perform tests and gather research with the team.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have largely developed skills I had, including:
Writing technical reports and specifications. Interpreting engineering drawings. Understanding electronic and mechanical theories.
Additionally I have learned a lot about the products which BAE Systems makes.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My programme is varied, diverse and engaging. Although nobody is going to enjoy their job every single day, the majority of my first year has been incredibly enjoyable and successful. I feel like I'm learning both valuable skils within the industry as well as gaining a lot of life experience through the amount of travelling accross the country I'm able to do because of the higher apprenticeship.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As BAE Systems is an enormous, multi-national company, it can be hard for a first year higher apprentice to feel valued. However, after completing my first document, it was picked up by some of my superiors and praised highly. They put it forward to be used as a deliverable for the MOD. This gave me an great sence of value and worth.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Simply put, very well. Each step and element of the programme has been carefully crafted to maximise what I will get out of the programme.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I get as much support as I could possibly need, and I could get more if I wished. The training provider is very much on my side and willing me to succeed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As the company is so large, it is sometimes easy to feel like you're getting a bit lost in its size. However, upon voicing these concerns to my manager I now have regular meetings to keep everything on track and feel like I get ample support at work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
A starting salary of £17500/year with six monthly pay rises ranging from £300 - £1200 keeps me very happy. Especially with a free degree thrown in on top of that.
I don't think I could have found a company paying much more for a first year higher apprentice.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company is so large that it has many activities taking place outside of work. Ranging from sport to music and everything in between - additionally if theres something you want to set up theres no reason why this couldn't be done!
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
1 - A complete and thorough apprenticeship programme. 2 - Interesting, challenging and engaging work. 3 - A highly competative salary. 4 - A great peer group of other grads and trainees. 5 - The oppertunities to travel with your work. 6 - Plus much much more.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Be honest, open and friendly. Remember that when applying for a training role, they do not expect you to be any kind of expert, they just want to see your interest and natural abilities shine through.
Additionally, wear sun cream and always eat your veggies.
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