Tool Maker at Jaguar Land Rover

Start Date:
Birmingham West Midlands
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£421 weekly
Review Date:
June 2015

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My main role is to perform maintenance activities on press tools. This usually involves stripping the tool down, cleaning it and putting it back together. Occasionally tool components have to be repaired or new ones manufactured. These repairs generally involve welding, hand grinding and manual machining. Another role I often perform is trying to keep the work area clean and tidy so that myself and my colleagues have a decent working environment, This involves sweeping, brushing and other, general cleaning activities.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Skills I have learnt during my apprenticeship include operating a variety of manual machines including milling machines, lathes, radial drills and surface grinders. I have learnt how to operate a gantry crane and have some very limited CAD skills. I have been taught how to weld although I have not received any official training in this area. As I have spent most of my apprenticeship learning to use machines my skills working on press tools and my general understanding of tools and presses are not what they could be. This is unfortunate as my job is almost entirely working on press tools.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoyed the weekly college based day release. Enjoyment at work is, at best, limited.

4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?


Our feedback is regularly requested by the company which makes me feel more like a part of a team rather than a well-paid cog. This feeling, however, is countered when I realised that any concerns raised are only acknowledged when there is a quick fix available. I sometimes feel that if a problem can be reasonably ignored then it will be. This often makes me feel frustrated.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


I have been extremely happy with the courses and support provided by my college throughout my apprenticeship, particularly in the first, third and fourth years.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the training I have received at my place of work. There has been no structure with regards to the training I have received at work and I have relied solely on the skilled men and group leaders on the shop floor for any form of structure or consistency. For example, when I first arrived at the press shop toolroom no one seemed to know what to do with me and I was assigned odd jobs such as putting up shelves for the first couple of weeks. It was only when two of the machinists took pity on me and began training me on the machines that I began receiving training and I remained on the machining section for the next 18 months. It was only when I asserted that I should be learning about the tools so I would actually be able to do my job that I moved down to the tooling section.

It was around this time that my department began moving over to a new toolroom in a new location. The move took several months and in the meantime the toolroom was moved into a much smaller area with very little equipment available. This area wasn’t really suitable for the work we were doing so training opportunities were limited and a lot of time was spent simply waiting for work. I was sent on a CAD course at around this time which was very interesting if unrelated to my job.

At some point during this period me and my fellow apprentice were asked to create a chart of all the skills we had learned and what we had yet to learn. This was to be used to add structure to our training and to improve the training for future apprentices. Since creating the chart, however, nothing new has materialised and no new training has been offered.

Since the move has been completed little has changed. I have been working on the tools but this largely involves cleaning them and opportunities to take part in repairs are still limited. With regards to training from my department I feel altogether let down.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


I have always been happy with the support I have received from my college. The standard of tuition has generally been excellent and I have achieved many qualifications as a result.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


Support from my employer with regards to training has left much to be desired as discussed at length above. Other support such as the employee learning scheme is nice to have available.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


My wage and associated bonuses are extremely generous and more than cover my costs.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


The Employee Learning Scheme (ELS) provides the opportunity to learn new skills outside of work courtesy of the company. This is extremely beneficial and considerate of the company.

9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?


9b. Why?

It pays extremely well, there is reasonable job security and there is always opportunity to advance further in the company.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?

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