1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I currently work for Siemens Energy Management. I work within the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) team where we design centralized systems to control and protect our wind farms and substations. It’s my responsibility to help design these systems and work within the team to create a final product in which the customer can be happy with and provides everything outlined in the specification given.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my apprenticeship, I have gained skills in both practical and theory. We started our apprenticeship in 2012 by completing our PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) at Trafford college. This experience gave me the knowledge and practical skills in hand fitting, wiring/testing electrical equipment and circuits, working safely etc. All these skills have helped me become the best engineer I can be. These skills have been applied in my day to day activities while working for Siemens, especially when working with the protection relays down in the lab. Furthermore, These skills were also very useful while I was completing my site experience back in May 2015. Working on site required me to work safely and test many different types of electrical equipment while also hand fitting some equipment. I have also achieved my HNC in electrical engineering. While this was mainly theory, it has helped me to understand all aspects of electrical engineering. Units of the HNC included Business Management, Electrical Power and Engineering science along with other units. All of these primary subjects have helped me understand the basics of my job and have taught me the fundamentals of being a electrical engineer. I achieved an overall grade of a merit for my HNC and have gone on to finish my NVQ Level 4. I believe this NVQ will open up many doors to me as it proves I have the skills and knowledge of a skilled engineer in a professional, working environment. Gaining all these qualifications and learning the ins and outs of my job has been inspirational. Its inspired me to go on and progress in my career and has motivated me to go on and improve my engineering knowledge so I can be the best engineer I can be.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working here and working along side the SCADA team. Everyone is very welcoming. The programme is well managed and has helped me become the best engineer I can be. It's challenging but very rewarding.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
My manager appreciates every bit of work i do and always thanks me. There have also been occasions where engineers have put me in for a champions award. These rewards have been given in e-cards but some also have come with a £100 Amazon gift card.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well structured. We started doing a round robin going to each department doing 2 month placements. This covers a whole range of different engineering. At the end of your first year you sit down with your manager and discuss which placement is best for you from your placement reviews and your own experience. It's the best way in finding out which department is best for you.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider doesn't come in all that often, although he is always just a phone call/e-mail away. My NVQ level four wasn't the easiest but I found I had enough support to see me through it.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My work team are really good in pulling me through coursework and my actual work. If any things to much or too complicated, everybody is willing to stop what they are doing to help me gain the knowledge I want to know. There is also a Siemens knowledge club which you can join. This gives you access to all sorts of presentations and information that your colleagues may not even be able to explain. It's really helpful.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I find the salary here very reasonable. The salary has increased by around £2,000 - £2,500 during each year of my apprenticeship. I am now a trainee as I will be starting university in September but the salary I'm on now is more than some of my friends who actually have a degree. A Siemens apprenticeship is the best way forward .
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Siemens offer many opportunities to get involved in things outside of work. You will get the chance to do voluntary work for at least 2 days a year. In my experience I have managed to pain a school playground for the disabled and also managed to teach kids how to program video games in a competition in Manchester called hackathon.
9. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
Studying, earning and gaining work experience is the best way forward and to do all this in a company as big as Siemens is an amazing opportunity.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
Put in as much as you can. You only get out what you put in. Come to work on time and ready to learn or it'll be a waste of time if your not interested.
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