1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
During the apprenticeship you rotate round different departments in 3 month blocks. In my current placement I spend most of my time away from my desk, where I test different project's products. Most tests last a few days and my responsibilities are to help in the set-up of tests and also to carry out the test under supervision. I enjoy this very much as it's all very hands on.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my time in the apprenticeship I have learned many new skills and also developed upon existing skills. Throughout the 4 year apprenticeship I will gain a HND in engineering systems. I will also gain an SVQ level 3. The HND is completed day release at Edinburgh college whereas the SVQ level 3 is completed through an internal portfolio.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my apprentice programme very much. Most of the time the work is challenging so can be very satisfying when completed. However like most jobs when you don't have enough work it can be very boring. Throughout the company you work with a range of different personalities. One thing that's very positive is that all of the more experienced engineers are happy to pass on knowledge and offer help to apprentices when necessary. I enjoy the work I do a lot and it is made better by the fact that you become good friends with the people you work with especially the other apprentices.
4. How valued do you feel by Leonardo?
The apprentice training manager in Edinburgh is very helpful and gets on well with the apprentices. The manager always seems interested in how you are doing within your placements and is interested in hearing your opinions on all factors of the apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship I have received a reward from the company in an employee recognition scheme. As an apprentice you get different levels of responsibility due to what is safe and beneficial to your learning process. The placement supervisors are always keen to get you involved in as many tasks as they can. So yes, I feel valued in my apprenticeship.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well structured throughout the 4 years. The induction lasts a total of 4 weeks. There is little in the way of formal training programmes offered to the apprentices apart from the college courses. During your apprentices you are offered lots of support from your manager, supervisor, assessor and other colleagues/apprentices. You are sometimes given time in placements to study for your college courses however most of this work is expected to be done at home. I feel the programme is very well organised to help the apprentices successfully complete there apprenticeship and enjoy it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The main training provider during the programme is Edinburgh college. The tutors within the college are very open to helping students who are needing support. You can get the support you need from tutors by contacting them in class or out of class when in college, as well as emailing them from work or home computers. Any support I've ever needed has been provided to me by the training provider.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The apprentice training manager is open to providing support to those who need it. Your mentor is also a good source of support if you have problems which are more focused on the SVQ 3 qualification. As mentioned before most experienced engineers are willing to offer support to the apprentices when help is needed.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My living costs, travel costs and daily costs are all very small and manageable due to my current situation. Therefore for me the majority of my salary goes to savings and social costs. This makes the salary very comfortable for my lifestyle. I think I could comfortably live with this salary even if I was paying rent and had much larger outgoing costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Most events outside of work I get involved in are to raise awareness about the apprenticeship programme in schools. There are many other out of work opportunities but most do not appeal to me. More leisure/sports clubs would make me more inclined to do more out of work activities.
9. Would you recommend Leonardo to a friend?
Very good apprenticeship and a great way into the industry if you are interested in engineering. After the 4 years you end up in a very strong place with industry recognised qualifications and years of work experience which a university graduate would not have.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Leonardo?
Take time over the application process as it is not something you will be able to do well if it is rushed. Do your research about the company before you apply, and show that you're interested.
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