1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My day to day role is difficult to pinpoint, as no two days are really the same at BAE Systems. As an apprentice, we move around the company every 16 weeks gaining experience in different departments and areas of the business. I currently work in Procurement, which in basic terms is buying pieces of equipment, however there is far more to it than that and my day to day job depends on what are of the business I am in.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed several skills since joining the company in September. My IT skills have improved, as well as my team working and networking skills. This is due to working with such a large number of people. I have also improved my customer service skills due to being in contact with both suppliers and customers.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Having only been here 10 months, I feel I have settled into the business quickly and easily, and as a result I am enjoying my time here. I have been made to feel welcome in all 3 departments I have worked in and have been assigned challenging and relevant work.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As an apprentice, I was guilty of coming to the business thinking I would not be given much responsibility. I couldn't have been more wrong and have found that every day is challenging due to being given relevant work to do. Also, I have seen first hand just how much BAE Systems invest in their apprentices, and some of the opportunities we have been given have reflected that. Overall I feel as valued at BAE Systems as an apprentice just as much as a senior member of staff does.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is structured in such a way that you know exactly what stage of training you are at, and because of this you are always informed of what you need to do. The programme is set at the right pace and does not feel rushed, or too long. I feel I have developed well because of this.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive regular support, advice and instruction from my training provider. I have an assessor who is in constant contact with me and always prepared to help me whenever I have a query.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer supports myself and the other apprentices in every area of the business. My employer is always offering training, extra opportunities and look after employees. Examples of this include the share scheme, free occupational health, pension schemes and many more. The company has also arranged several extra opportunities for us, such as meeting the Prime Minister during the election campaign, and being offered the chance to ask any questions we might have had.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my costs at the moment due to living at home. As we progress through the apprenticeship my salary also increases (subject to achieving agreed milestones etc) which is always a nice incentive to do well. The starting salary is small in comparison the final salary, however the final salary itself is a very rewarding amount and certainly something to look forward to and work hard towards.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
BAE Systems regularly communicate extra opportunities to apprentices outside work. Examples of this include Outward Bound (A team building week based around challenging outdoor activities), German Exchange, where a couple of apprentices swap job roles with a couple of apprentices in Germany for a couple of weeks. Princes trust, a scheme targetting disadvantaged people into getting into work and many more. You are under no pressure to apply or volunteer for any outside opportunities, however all apprentices are offered and considered for the activites.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
Due to the interesting and challenging nature of the business. No two days are ever the same, the people here are always friendly and willing to help and most importantly you feel like a valued member of staff.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Do your research on the company. Once you understand what BAE Systems actually does you will find it much easier to describe why you would to work here and what you can bring to the company.
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