1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is 'Commercial Procurement Apprentice'. Procurement essentially means buying goods and services. My day-to-day role is to offer my help and assistance to the team that I am currently in. I have been actively involved in a procurement process for contracts that are worth millioons of pounds, whether it be redacting contracts, sending out clarifications or big pieces of work such as performing commercial and technical evaluations on bids from companies. I also get to handle basic administration jobs, such as organising paperwork, creating spreadsheets and drafting letters. I have got to interact with suppliers and clients on bidder conferences, sight visits and general meetings. As well as all of this, every thursday I have a CIPS training day with the training provider for this apprenticeship, to help me pass the relevant exams and gain CIPS Level 3 Award. Overall, I am really enjoying my apprenticeship
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot of new skills from on-the-job experience and from my training sessions every thursday. In particular, my ICT skills have dramatically improved since I started this apprenticeship. I have learnt so much about Procurement and how the wider economy affects procurement. My general understanding of how the economy works has also greatly improved
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am really enjoying it at the moment. The team I am in is great, there is a laid back atmosphere which I like. It is definitely exceeding my expectations
4. How valued do you feel by Transport for London?
I feel very appreciated by TfL and my work colleagues. Everyone has accepted me and is very welcomiong. I am getting heavily involved with contracts that members of the team are creating, and everyone tells me I am doing a great job.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is very organised. When I started, all apprentices had a three day induction period, where we would learn about TfL and what it does. Then, I met my team, and immediately got stuck-in to find work. All the procurement apprentices are on a 6 month rotation cycle so that everyone gets an opportunity to see different aspects of procurement within TfL
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from my training provider. We have sessions every thursday to help aid my learning. Also, my tutor will be meeting me once every three months to gain an understanding of how I am working and how the placement is going. He is always accessible by e-mail.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from TfL. They have me assigned me a mentor, who guides me on a day-to-day basis. Also, I have a line Manager and a Senior Commercial Manager who regularly monitor my progress. Everyone is very open and helpful, and they understand that I may make mistakes or not pick up some things as quickly as I am an Apprentice, which gives me confidence to ask more questions to people about what to do
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Well everyone always wants more money, but I'm happy with the wage packet I have with TfL, especially as an apprentice. TfL offer free travel in the London area (free Oyster Card) so this is really useful for someone who earns an apprentice wage. Also, TfL offers 75% reimbursement for employees outside of London. I find this especially useful, as my annual season ticket to get into London is over £4000.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities to do different activities outside of work. There are always courses and training programmes to go on to learn more about the role. Also, the location I fantastic, in the heart of London. There are lots of places to eat and leisure centres and gyms as well. London always has lots of fantastic events going on, so it's just about finding what's best for you
9. Would you recommend Transport for London to a friend?
It's a fantastic organisation to work for. TfL is a huge part in ensuring London has the best travel network in the world and keeping London as the best city in the world. They offer so many helpful benefits, in particular free travel in the London area, which is really useful
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Transport for London?
During the application process, I found it really useful to look into what TfL does and how much work it actually does. Once I got into it, I found it really interesting to explore everything that TfL does.
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