1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Highways Technician Apprentice and what I do on a daily basis depends on the placement I am working with. So far I have worked with the Highways design team and Bus design to produce drawings on CAD systems and I am now working with the project management team to understand principles of projects and how they work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned a wide range of skills. I have gained knowledge and experience on how to use CAD systems alongside Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator to produce design drawings by receiving training from my supervisor and colleagues. I am currently studying to acquire a Level 4 HNC in Civil Engineering.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am satisfied with my programme. The work is quite enjoyable as I am very much into design engineering. Also, the teams I have worked with so far have been extremely helpful and joyful to work with and the culture at work is supportive and collaborative. However, if there is something I would add it would be more practical hands-on work.
4. How valued do you feel by Transport for London?
As an apprentice you are always looked after at Transport for London. Your manager is always there to help you and is always pushing you to do better as he/she guides you and they give you credit when you complete the work. Furthermore, all the managers I have worked with have not only appreciated my efforts in projects but have also trusted me with frequent involvement in projects whether they are small or large.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship scheme is quite structured. It is set as 2 years and 3 months and it is composed of 6 month placements at 4 departments and 3 months with the company's contractors. Within that time, there is a day release for college studies as well as day or weekly releases for training depending on the type of training an employee goes on. Also, there is a clear hierarchy for reporting and gaining support/mentors for the apprentices.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Recently we have been assigned with a new training provider so we are still in the early days. Having said that, we have had an induction session with our new trainers and they have made it quite clear that they are here to support us in every aspect and have also shown us what to do and where to go if we ever have an issue with a variety of things. So it looks very promising.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is very supportive at all levels. My manager supports me on a day-to-day basis on various issues. HR and the IT team are always available for support and the company has very clear policy on where employees need to go for support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary package suits my needs very well. I am able to afford my rent, travel into work and do some shopping - clothing, electronics, food etc - all within my budget and still have extra money left to use in the month. I am also able to book holidays to affordable places nationally and internationally.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are number of opportunities available outside of work. For instance, there are external apprenticeship promotion events where we go to schools or different events to talk about our apprenticeships. There are work sports team arranged if anyone wants to join as well as company held events. Also, we are encouraged to help out with different charity events including cycling to and from work and helping those in need at local centres
9. Would you recommend Transport for London to a friend?
The apprenticeship scheme is comprehensive: you gain work experience,you study for a professional qualification, you are constantly pushed to take training classes for self-development and you are paid to do all of this. Moreover, the work is enjoyable and the company is very supportive.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Transport for London?
As Transport for London offers a variety of apprenticeship schemes, look into each one and make sure you apply to the one you think will suit you best. If you are unsure about the description, enquire about it as sometimes they can be vague. I thought my scheme was going to be very hands-on as I am a practical person however it is more office based and it was not very clear on the job description, nevertheless the job is still enjoyable. Prepare well for your application and do your best at completing the electronic and paper assessments to the best of your ability within the allocated time. Be confident during your interview and be outspoken, do not let your nerves get the best out of you.
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