1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My current role is a trainee CNC operator. This involves learning basic machining principles, understanding machine programming and setting up components for production. I also have to complete a level three NVQ and technical certificate.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The apprenticeship has allowed me to develop in both of these areas. My organisational, problem solving and communication skills have all improved greatly. Working with engineers day to day has also enabled me to develop new skills such as professional knowledge, practical ability and interpersonal skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme thoroughly, I believe that when I complete my apprenticeship I will be able to use it as a foundation to progress my career and allow me to fill my full potential as a Thales employee.
4. How valued do you feel by Thales?
Thales ensures all apprentices are valued. Management has expressed how important apprentices our for the future of the company, and during my time here I have always felt a part of the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship was well stuctured. In my first year each apprentice spent eight weeks in six different manufacturing departments. Depending on performance and preference in each of these placements, apprentices were then placed in a department to develop their skills further.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our training provider would visit every six to eight weeks for pastoral care and to keep track of our performance. A day release is also provided to allow us to complete our technical certificate.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Thales has provided support and help right from I began my apprenticeship. They provide professional development discussions with management twice a year allowing me to express concerns and ambitions. They have also allowed me to enroll on an HNC course and are always encouraging improvement and development.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My starting salary was very good for a first year apprentice. Increments are also added every six months in line with my development as an employee. Overall I am very pleased with my current salary/package.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As I stated above Thales has allowed me to study for an HNC course giving me a weekly day release. This will benefit both me and the company. The salary provided by the company also allows me to enjoy life outside of work.
9. Would you recommend Thales to a friend?
Thales is a great company to work for. The opportunities to travel and progress your career are endless. You are valued, looked after and allowed to develop a skill base. Meeting new people and working with professional engineers is also an added bonus.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thales?
Thales values people who are motivated, enthusiastic and want to progress themselves. Ensure that you express these traits in your interview/ assessment and Thales will provide you with a future full of opportunities.
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