1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a PCB design apprentice. On a day to day basis I will place components and route training boards, I also make sure all the teams tasks are up to date and I am currently the project manager for a new design project that the apprentices are undertaking.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am currently studying SVQ level 2, in PLC's and mechanical drawing using CAD, and a HND in electronic engineering.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I absouloutly love my apprenticeship. I am the only apprentice of my kind within my company but I am still invited to meet with the other departments apprentices every month and my team are very kind.
4. How valued do you feel by Thales?
Extremely valued. I will hopefully lead the way for other apprentice PCB designers within not only my company but also the electronics industry so I think Thales want to make sure I receive as much support as necessary.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My apprenticeship is well organised but also flexible. When joining the company it was established that they would suit the training for the hired individual. The apprentice progress meetings we have every month help with any concerns but also allows recognition for sucesses too.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I feel like I can speeak to all of my college lecturers and without any problems. There was more a lack of communication/understanding with what I had to do in order to get my log book and although there has been a delay I still feel like I will be supported fuly with the completion of this.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team support me with any questions I have and if they cannot help me they will point me to the right person which also helps me with getting to know other staff within other departments. They also proactively make sure that I have everything I need to do my job comfortably such as stationary and foot rests etc.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I was anticipating that I would potentially have to take on another part time job to support myself during the apprenticeship as I currently rent a flat and of course have bills to pay but I have managed perfectly fine so far. It helps that Thales has free parking so I can just drive to work and don't have to pay for parking. From all the other apprenticeships I am aware of, Thales is at the higher end of the pay scale compaired with other companies.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have been advised of several clubs which the company has such as golf and hiking but I have not joined any of these yet although may do at a future date. As it is close to christmas time there are organising of christmas nights out at the moment. There is also a Thales university for learning soft skills.
9a. Would you recommend Thales to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I really like the flexibility of Thales. I can start anytime between 7:15 and 9:30 as long as I make up my 8.45 hours, they have completely suited the apprenticeship to me and I know of many people within the company that have worked in different departments. The company, although not generally well known, is massive and so the oppertunities are unlimited. The pay and benefits are also a huge bonus.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thales? *
Be yourself. The assessment day is quite long, I think mine was about 3-4 hours, if you are not youself they will recognise this and think that your answers and interactions may not be 100% acurate to who you really are. I actually had a lot of fun at my assessment centre as there were a lot of tasks, some of which I was better at than others, but when I didn't know what I was doing I was completely honest.
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