1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am training to become Computer Aided Design Engineer, working within Body Engineering's Advanced Vehicle Architecture department. Currently, I am doing a placement within the Body Computer Aided Engineering Department. Here I am in the process of learning new software such as HperWorks HyperMesh. Once this traininng is complete I will then be able to progress onto 'live' projects.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
So far I have completed an Automotive Engineering Foundation Degree at Warwickshire college and I am currently awaiting my results. Prior to this, I have also gained an NVQ Level 2 PEO, ERS & PLTS qualifications. In addition to this, I have also been on a AVA CAD internal training course and due to go on a CAE one.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the variety of jobs and tasks available; including different cars. Being able to do placements in different areas has really broadened my knowledge of the automotive industry.I believe these early foundations are vital if I am to progress in the future. The majority of people are easily approachable, which is important for me as an apprentice; due to the numerous questions I ask.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
Managerial appreciation is sometimes rare, however different managers have different styles of managing. It is clear what is expected from me, so I know the work is appreciated if completed correctly and to a high enough standard. In contrast, I have been asked to present a recent project I have recently completed to the whole design team - A form of appreciation.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Due to the programmes new existence, there isn't any structure. I have had to work closely with my manager to create an 'Apprentice Framework'. This includes the learning of core skills within plant and doing 6 month placements in relevant departments. This framework will be enrolled out to the rest of the apprenticeship at the end of the year, to ensure there is a structure within the apprenticeship. Once done, the apprenticeship will have a fantastic structure.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
At college, the training is very poor. There is a complete lack of support and the majority of the lecturers do not know how to teach. Most lessons consist of the apprentices having to teach themselves. In addition, the marking of assignments seem to be done without actually looking at the assignment. Alongside this, no/generic feedback is provided.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Each apprentice is aligned to an ITM (Manager). The ITM oversees everything the apprentice does at college and in plant. They are your first port of call and are extremely helpful and understanding.
In addition to this we also have a line manager for you specific department. Mine has helped and encouraged me to book onto various training courses in order to gain a wide variety of skills.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is very generous starting on £17,000. The wage increases by 10% every 6 months if all behavioural targets have been met. This also includes JLR benefits and privileges (including discount of up to 20% off Ford, Jaguar and Landrover). The package also includes a competitive pension scheme, where jaguar put in 8% if you put in 4%. On top of this, bonuses are also issued if the company is performing well.
As a result of this, I have been able to purchase my own property at the age of 19 (a year after starting the apprenticeship) within a highly competitive housing market (Warwick).
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are numerous amounts of opportunities outside of work. Most recently we have the JLR Challenge event in September. This will include orienteering and other extreme sports within a secret/unknown location. There are also plenty of discounts on gyms and leisure centres that surround the area.
9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
If someone was looking to do engineering at university, I have no doubt that this is a better route. I had previously applied to Loughborough to do Automotive Engineering and got in. However, after realising that JLR provided the exact same degree for free, with a competitive salary and 6 years experience in industry, I had no choice but to turn down one of the top engineering universities in the UK.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
Application is very tough with numerous amounts of competency questions and aptitude tests. The final assessment centre, should you make it that far, is half a day of further tests and interviews. The day starts at 7:00, so it is critical that you get there at least 15 minutes before. Ensure you are dressed appropriately and remember that as soon as you pull into the car park, you are being watched!
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