1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My apprenticeship trains me to become a wind turbine technician, involved in the maintenance and operation of wind farms around the UK. My daily tasks are usually service, but can include troubleshooting faulty components, retrofits, escorting inspection teams, and general maintenance of the wind farm. I have worked predominantly offshore in this role, and work with technicians right up to management, completing paperwork and engineering tasks.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am working to gain my NVQ City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering - Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance, and have nearly completed all necessary tasks and written work to achieve this. We also are trained internally to work safely at height, with electrical systems, on mechanical and hydraulic systems, and complete competencies throughout our work. We have also developed our skills in the field during this time, working as part of a service or troubleshooting team, and how to work as a professional of the business.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do enjoy the programme, and have worked with some decent colleagues from many different backgrounds. Working within the service and troubleshoot teams is enjoyable. It has met my expectations, however sometimes, it has proven difficult to sort issues out when moving sites, and not necessarily having the same mentor during the experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
I have felt valued by Siemens, especially when I was a new starter in the business. I have learnt that working hard and attempting to improve situations has gained me a good opinion amongst the work force as an apprentice, and have tried my best in situations. we do get recognized for that by management at times, and it does make me feel positive about my work when this happens. This hasn't always been the case, where sometimes I have felt under appreciated on site, and this impacts you, as a person, as it can make you question your impact to the business. Overall, I have felt more valued than not.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It was quite an unorganized program in the beginning, as it was a new programme and some things needed ironing out. But I can say that it has improved since I started, and there is more support from managers.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The support is there if we ask for it, we have an external assessor for the NVQ programme and just have to await a reply with that.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Within Siemens, I have encountered problems with the job before and my manager was a big help to rectifying a tough situation. My main criticism is we don't really have mentors when learning on the job - or at least not a set mentor. I think this could be better managed.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
There is no criticism about our salary or package as an apprentice. I have been looked after whilst working for siemens, providing us with allowances for working away, and a company card for using on hire cars, fuel, and accommodation. We do not get a food allowance on the company card, however you do as a travelling technician after your apprenticeship, that's not particularly a criticism.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Not loads when working around the country. There are the occasional operational excellence meetings in Newcastle, and company events held in Newcastle, but we cant always get involved due to working away.
9. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
I have enjoyed my time with siemens, and wouldn't change working for them. Every company has ups and downs, however I feel siemens will work on improving the downs, and hopefully the apprenticeship for candidates after me will meet those points.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
Write a good CV, spend time on it. Focus on the business, and the interview process, what you may be asked about. Be keen, and get to the open days prior to this, and stay focused, and have confidence in yourself.
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