1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role in the company is an Engineering Technician Apprentice. This involves working with CAD software to design and develop systems on board a naval ship. Currently, in my 2nd year I have been working in 3 month placements, moving around different departments in the business to gain a better knowledge of what they do and a better experience.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I feel I have developed the majority of my core interpersonal skills. The biggest development has been in my confidence in my work and ability. I have also improved my communicational skills, questioning and problem solving, since working in the company.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I very much enjoy the programme. The thing I enjoy the most is the responsibility placed on me in each department I work in. I am not seen as just an apprentice, I am seen as a valued member of the department. The vast majoirty of jobs I am tasked with can be given to anyone in the team, and some jobs I work on can be as important as somone who has much more experience as me. This is a good way for my to use contacts in the department and seek the support and knowledge of the team's experience.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As mentioned above I feel very valued by BAE Systems due to the amount of responsibility placed on me in my work. Each department I have worked in requires different skills however each adds the responsibility of running my own projects or jobs, where I am expected to seek support as required from someone with more experience or knowledge of the subject.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured as required. 1st year is spent full time in college working to achieve an HNC in engineering systems and an svq level 2. 2nd and 3rd year are spent in work in placements, while going to college on day release to achieve a HND in engineering systems. 4th year is spent full time in work in our final placements, working towards an svq level 3.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provder requires 12 week reviews to check up on my progress and any problems or difficulties I have come across. I know I can contact them if there are any unresolved problems in my training, however I have never had to do this so far.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer conducts the 12 week reviews as required by my training provider. There is a company apprentice training officer who is very supportive and approachable. The training officer is always available and can visit me in my placement several times a week, or as neccessary. I know I can speak to them about anything within or outwith my job.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary meets my costs as I budget as required. The salary increased by almost 50% each year of my apprenticeship which is very pleasing. However, living almost 30 miles from work I was disappointed the travelling expenses were stopped as this would be a great help.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There have been many great opportunities outside of work that I have been involved in so far. The biggest opportunity I am working on is a School's Engineering Challenge. This involves 10 local schools, which the company is trying to get schoolchildren motivated and interested in engineering. I had to run a teaching sesssion over 10 weeks with a school and then enter a competition with a team from the school. I have also been to career fairs and I am going to a company team building week in the near future. These all help develop my core skills.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
The company offers a huge amount of support to develop you as a person. Many skills are learned and developed, whilst support is offered from everyone I have worked for in the company. The company is also very supportive of career progression and puts you through an HND and svq level 3 and will also consider a degree programme beyond college. Each placement I have worked in so far places responsibility to do your job which is very enjoyable and helps develop my skills even futher.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
If anyone knows they want to work for the company then they should be proactive about it. The company offers work experience through schools and also summer work experience. This would stand anyone in good stead when applying to the company. Also to research what we do and to be open minded, sometimes you are required to leave your comfort zone in order to gainb or develop skills.
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