1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Working within the Maintenance Department as part of the Electrical, Controls and Instrumentation team, my duties include the routine maintenance of plant equipment in order to maximise availability. I am also responsible for the rectification of faulty equipment in a timely fashion in order to minimise downtime. This covers a wide range of equipment such as switchgear, electrical/pneumatic actuators, PLC/auto-control modules, motors, heaters, thermocouples and transmitters. Safety also plays a vital role in my position as a craftsperson and it is part of my job to help set and maintain the safety standards through best practice in myself and also communicating with others on safety, helping ensure we all go home safely.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I gained an NVQ level 3 in Power Plant Maintenance and completed a HNC in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. I have also developed skills on the maintenance of a wide range of electrical, control and instrumentation equipment. Along with this my apprenticeship consisted of mechanical elements such as machining, welding, pipework and handskills which has helped give me a broad skills base.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Prior to undertaking my apprenticeship I spent several years working in unskilled roles where the nature of the work was very repetitive. Doing my apprenticeship has meant I have learned a wide range of skills and have been challenged on a daily basis. Thanks to my apprenticeship I now feel I have the skills and knowledge required to succeed in my career.
4. How valued do you feel by E.ON?
Having recently completed my apprenticeship, I am now beginning my HND in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and am pleased to have just been awarded EngTec status by the IET. Both these things would not be possible without the continued support of Eon. Their commit to my development shows that they value me as an employee
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The entire programme is laid out and clear to see. From day one of my apprenticeship I was issued a program sheet which clearly showed what courses I would be taking at our Engineering Academy and when. It also showed when I would be at college and when I would be gaining experience onsite. Along with this we held regular reviews both at the Academy and onsite to track my progress. Overall I think the apprenticeship structure was very clear and well laid out.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
During the course of the apprenticeship I was helped by all the trainers at the academy and I also received help from my NVQ assessor who helped guide me through the process of achieving my NVQ. I also had my team leader on hand to help with any issues that I faced and always found I could approach him and talk to him about anything.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As mentioned previously Eon's continued investment in me post-apprenticeship shows how much they believe in me and want me to succeed. This support is helping me to make the most of my career and I am now benefiting from one to one mentoring from our teams Electrical Technician in order to prepare me for making the step to technician level.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The apprenticeship wage was very good and well above the minimum requirement. On top of this, apprentices that were required to travel to attend the Academy were put up in local hotels with all costs met. Taxis were also provided to ensure they could get from the hotel to the Academy and back with no trouble. On top of this lunch was provided free of charge and we were also given membership to the IET as part of the apprenticeship at no cost to ourselves.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are often team building exercises arranged and also evenings out for meals. We have also been encouraged to help in the recruitment of future apprentices by going into schools and colleges giving talks or manning stalls and talking to students to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.
9. Would you recommend E.ON to a friend?
The apprenticeship has given me the core elements I need in order to be able to do a fulfilling job. It has given me qualifications, technical knowledge/skills and experience. These are invaluable in a world where getting the right job is becoming increasingly competitive.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to E.ON?
Read up on the apprenticeship, there is plenty of information online. Make sure you have somewhere quiet to do the online assessments and make sure you are relaxed and ready. The assessment day is a full day but is your opportunity to show what you can offer, the main things we look for is whether or not the individual has a passion for engineering, the will to succeed and has a positive attitude.
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