1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am based in Brakes as a PD Engineer. The major part of this job is preparing and testing cars. The preparing stage involves getting the cars into workshop to have various parts changed to the correct ones for the test. We then take the cars on designated test runs and measure various parameters before post processing the data.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over the course of the apprenticeship my communication skills have developed enormously simply through needing to communicate with so many people in so many ways at work. On top of this I have an improved technical knowledge of automotive systems, through asking questions both in the workplace and at college. Various other skills are developed such as time management, project planning and practical skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
At work I enjoy my time a lot due to the varied nature of the tasks that I get to do and because of the people around me. Everyone is happy to help and enjoy passing on their knowledge. I didn't particularly enjoy college because my personal preference is to learn in a hands on way rather than theory based learning.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
At work apprentices are treated as part of the usual team, therefore good work is rewarded with praise, and not meeting targets is met with questions as to why work has not been completed. All of the managers appreciate the apprentice scheme as it allows them to train people in areas which a standard university course can not possibly cover as they are too specific to the business.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The college part of the course is not structured particularly well with deadlines often being moved and confusion about various things. At work however my placements are well organised with a plan in place for me to visit various departments with Braking to gain a full appreciation of the business. Obviously things change due to business requirements, however, my manager communicates well with me to ensure we are still on track.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The college that we attend has fantastic facilities and offer a wide range of lessons depending on your pathway. However, I only feel comfortable approaching a select number of tutors outside of lesson times. Some of the tutors also don't know a lot about the apprenticeship programme and therefore assume we know things that we don't and vice versa. Our ITM's are really good and are always approachable, they act as a link between college and JLR and are very knowledgable in both areas.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
At work there is always a wealth of people willing to help and impart knowledge. There is also a range of opportunities to attend training courses both in technical and soft skill areas giving an apprentice so many chances to develop their own career. Even after the apprenticeship these opportunities remain for more sponsored qualifications.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary at JLR is highly competitive. In my first year I moved from South London into a privately rented flat in Leamington Spa and could comfortable live here as well as saving a decent amount each month. The rate for stage system allows apprentices to gain a pay rise every 6 months if their targets are met until they reach the end of their apprenticeship. Apprentices also get the standard company inflation pay rises.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of social opportunities outside of the workplace with lots of people being interested in various sports. There is also a karting league as well as lots of other like minded people to simply meet up with and socialise. Apprentices often organise there own activities much like being around your college/school mates wherever you currently study.
9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
I would recommend JLR to a friend because it offers a viable pathway other than a straight university course with the end result being a more qualified and I believe a more well rounded person. The money is an added bonus to the skills developed. It also gives you a much better chance of getting a job after completing your degree.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
Take your time with the application form and make sure you answer to the best of your abilities but don't lie. In the interview stage questions will be asked about your application form so having a genuine knowledge and interest in the things you wrote about will come across really well in interview. Most importantly don't be nervous about the interview - most of the interviewers also started as apprentices so know how stressful it is.
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