1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a technical apprentice, this entails undertaking a Btec Lvl3 Diploma in Electrical/ Electronic Engineering, NVQ Lvl3 technicians certificate, as well as many other qualifications. As part of the apprenticeship i move round different departments within the company, with the overall goal of securing a 'final placement' in my chosen department, leading to a job role on completion of my apprenticeship. Due to the nature of this apprenticeship, my daily activities variey hugely based upon what department I am in.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Developed a deeper understanding of the engineering world, especially in the defence sector. I have also greatly developed my skills using core programs such as SAP, TeamCenter, DOORS and many other applications. This will give me a firm grounding for many applications, that can be applied in many job roles. Ontop of the many skills i have been able to develop, the abovementioned qualifications are completed throughout my apprenticeship.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The apprenticeship has had its high's and low's, these high's can be anything from a new placement all the way through developing new core skills. Unfortunately, the low's have mainly been around the organisation of our apprenticeship, and actions being taken to improve them. This has hindered possible development opportunities across the board that could play a vital part in your final 'chosen' job role.
4. How valued do you feel by Leonardo?
I feel Finmeccanica realises the need for younger engineers to come through the rank, due to the aging population we have at each of our sites, however due to unavailability of high positions upon completion of apprenticeships, many ex-apprentices have moved company, just for the chance to progress their career.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As mentioned above, organisation is a key downfall in the way the apprenticeship is managed. Many times, actions are not completed unless constant reminders are sent out - this leads to delays in development of personel, as well as missed opportunities. A large part of this could be due to higher intake numbers we are seeing, however the management structure hasn't changed, leaving those that run the scheme with too much to manage realistically.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Support can be difficult to find at times due to how busy they are, sometimes you can find that situations get ignored, and are often solved too late. Most of the time, we find outselves having to approach our line managers of the current placement we are in for them to provide feedback and advise.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Our employer tried to make sure we are given equal opportunities, and make sure that the required developmental skills are given to make sure that our careers can.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
When compared to other apprenticeships from different companies, our pay package is better, however this does not mean that it meets my costs. Naturally, with paying rent, bills, food and all other costs, come the end of the month I can sometimes find myself worried I may start encroaching towards an overdraft - this is something I avoid, and do not wish to get into. As with almost everyone, we all look to have a comfortable lifestyle where we do not need to constantly question whether we can afford to do something. This carries across to when we leave the apprenticeship and the technicians pay review - as after the 2 year pay review scheme finishes - many ex-apprentices have said they are greatly dissatisfied with their pay when compared with equivalent role in other companies.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There is the schools program that is run, which all apprentices can get involved with, other than this and promotional careers events for the company - there isn't much else.
9a. Would you recommend Leonardo to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I feel, to some extent, that I have not been given the best opportunities that should be availible to me, dispite pushing my career and myself to show myself as a valueable employee. Having also seen many ex-apprentices leave the company for better prospects, this has created doubt in my mind whether Finmeccanica could be a longterm job for apprentices out of an apprenticeship program.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Leonardo? *
Make sure that you wholely enjoy this field of engineering, and ensure that you are prepared to drive a considerable amount of your apprenticeship to make sure you are given the right opportunities. As far as overall apprenticeship scheme goes it is one of the best out there, as with the 3 month placement move system you are given a good capture of what kind of work/ department you feel would suit you.
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