1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job title: Cost engineer
Daily tasks include creating cost estimates for parts and designing methods to ease the costing of parts. For example I have created a model which allows the user to quickly and easily estimate the cost of injection moulded parts.
Tasks can be very varied and involve interactions with suppliers as well as opportunities to visit many different suppliers and see their processes first hand.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
So far I have completed a foundation degree. This included PEOs which allowed me to get first hand experience of many processes such as machining and welding.
I have also gained many software skills as I have to work with lots of different software everyday. This includes cost estimating software and CAD software.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My particular cost engineering programme within Jaguar land Rover includes a plan in which I move around different areas of the cost engineering department and areas which interact with it.
This means that I get to experience lots of variety and work with a lot of different people which I enjoy. This also means if you are not enjoying and area for any reason you can move on to the next one.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
I do feel valued by my manager as he makes sure to have regular reviews to make sure that the area I am currently working in is enjoyable and is allowing me to gain knowledge and skills.
Apprentices are given recognition if they do valuable pieces of work and are most of the time given tasks which are important and make an impact within the department and company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My cost engineering programme is extremely well organised with a plan which allows me to work in many different areas. I can view the plan and see where I will be working at any point in the future of my apprenticeship.
The qualifications and education that I get during my apprenticeship are also well organised and I know what qualification I do and when.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I meet with my Tutor every 12 weeks to check the status of my college/NVQ/university work. This also checks on questions like whether I feel safe within my workplace. This also allows me to raise any issues about college which I will be supported with. She has a very friendly and supportive attitude.
I can also contact her at any time if I have any problems.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I meet with my apprentice manager once a month to check on my progress and where I can raise any issues if their are any. And receive guidance on how I can improve and what steps I can take to improve my performance.
I have a review with the mentor for the area I am currently working every 2 weeks.
I am able to contact either of the people above at any time if I have any problems or require any support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Salary is good and raises throughout your apprenticeship as long as there are no behavioural issues. Travel costs can be high as the location you end up working in can be anywhere from Wolverhampton to Gaydon and this is not known when you start your apprenticeship. Living costs, daily costs and social costs are all reasonable.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Some company activities have been put on since I started such as a off road drive in a land rover. The company gives finding each year to employees to use on any educational experience. There are competitions within the company to allow employees to experience driving new cars with customers. Other than this the company does not organise many activities.
9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
The company is growing quickly and it is the ideal time to join. The apprenticeship is 6 years long but includes a sponsored degree so compared to a graduate which would do a three year degree then a two year graduate programme and have lots of student debt it is a much better option. It also gives lots of practical work experience which is extremely valuable in the engineering industry. You get the opportunity to work on the new products which JLR are bringing to the market.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
The application process has three stages: an online form with behavioural questions, an online test and a day at an assessment centre.
The form requires lots of good examples of certain scenarios so I would say think carefully about the examples to use and write a good amount for each one.
The online test is a short timed test that requried you to answer various questions.
The assessment centre has different activities which are all 1:1 other than the group exercise. The activities include an interview which has similar questions to the online form questions, a practical test which requires you read instructions and follow them carefully, a problem solving exercise which requires you to read about a problem then answer question and give suggestions about the actions that should be taken. Finally the group exercise included a problem which needed organising in this exercise it is important to speak up and give input to the group.
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