1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an engineering technician apprentice in my 2nd year of my apprenticeship. This means that I spend one day a week at CEMAST College studying my HND in Mechanical Engineering. The rest of the week is spent at my placement in work. Currently this is working with the Production team at Broadoak. This involves me planning production tasks and providing engineering support. This allows me to be involved in a variety of different engineering manufacture tasks. I am also involved in ongoing investigations towards producing a new product for Selex.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Since the beginning of my apprenticeship I have completed a HNC in Mechanical Engineering at Distinction level. I have also learnt how to read, interpret and produce engineering drawings that can be part of an overall project. My time on the apprenticeship has allowed me to go on-board many naval ships and develop an understanding of many of the different systems used and their associated equipment.
I have been sent away to a site in Frimley for a writing business documents course. This helped me to develop my skills in writing professional documents. I apply this knowledge to my work and my studies.
I try to get involved in other activities that will help me develop my personal skills; such as the Junior Leaders Field Gun competition and Outward Bound.
I am currently studying my HND and my NVQ Level 3.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy meeting the new teams when I rotate about the business. I like to get involved with a variety of tasks and I enjoy working with the equipment and technology that BAE Systesms produces. The company is well motivated which helps to make an enthusiastic team. The apprenticeship has exceeded my expectations.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As an apprentice I am always reminded of my importance in the company as I will be involved with its future. My placement managers have always appreciated me being involved within their departments and have always shown an interest in my development.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Organisation has been average. There are times when it is very good, but there are times where it has been let down. The beginning of my apprenticeship was very well organised especially the induction process. There has been recently less structure to the apprenticeship since a management change however this is expected and can be forgiven. The placement selection, confirmation process could do with being more organised.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Assuming that my training provider is the college that I study at: I receive minimal support. I am however only at college one day a week so I wouldn't expect any. If I had problems with my studies there are people I could speak to. However this has never been a problem for me.
IF I had problems at home or any other problem with my apprenticeship I have no doubt that I could receive support from my apprenticeship manager.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Plenty of support. Never had any issues.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Well we could all do with a payrise surely! In all honesty the first year was difficult for me as I was living on my own and I had also moved away from home in Watford 80 miles away. As soon as I went into my second year I've had a payrise and now it is a bit more comfortable. I am due to have another payrise when I go into my third year. Living costs are higher than ever and a higher salary would help. There are other engineering companys that have better paid apprenticeships. Regardless, BAE Systems apprenticeships have a reasonable salary. If there are apprentices that have gone above and beyond to do a task, they are reimbursed; i.e miles paid, travel expenses, meal expenses.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Plenty. Company events, school events, STEM, JLFG, plus all the site specific opportunities. There's also a gym in the dockyard.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The company is of a personal interest of mine. It gives the chance to work with highly technical equipment and systems. The company gives fantastic support to its employees and values every individual.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
The company values: Trusted, Innovative, Bold.
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