1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an apprentice working alongside the hardware team in the engineering department, there is a wide verity of different tasks that I carry out on a day to day basis. These include: general product support tasks, testing activities, PCB and circuit modifications, report writing, documentation updates, data analysis, CAD drawings and other activities of a similar nature. It is often the case that there are other people within the business that have an influence over the tasks that I complete, particularly with support tasks. Therefore communication is another key involvement including: emails, phone calls and face to face meetings.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my apprenticeship so far I have learned and developed many new skills. I have already achieved a level 2 qualification in engineering principals and operations; this knowledge is put to good use whilst carrying out tasks at work. I am now working towards the advanced level 3 qualifications in electrical/electronic engineering. Some examples of the skills that I have gained include: the use of CAD design software, problem solving, data analysis, welding the use of electronic measurement instruments including oscilloscopes. I have also developed my communication skills and have become more of a confident person having to interact with other people on a day to day basis. There are a number of training courses that I have attended both internally and externally. These include: Training on the safe methods of manual handling and crane operation. Also three-four day CAD training courses to give me a better understanding of how the software works and should be used.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do very much enjoy my apprenticeship programme. There is such a variety of different tasks for me to carry out both independently and with other colleagues. Working on projects with other colleagues not only makes the job in hand more enjoyable, it is also a great way for me to take on board their advice and make the most of their expertise and experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Stannah?
As a whole, I do feel valued and appreciated by Stannah and the people I work with in the engineering department. It is expected to get some tedious dull jobs from time to time, however these are given in balance with other more complex and involved project tasks. On completion of tasks and report documents, it is common that they will be positively commented on by managers and fellow colleagues. This gives the impression that work has been completed well and much appreciated. I am also included in meetings with external visitors from time to time to give me an understanding of specific topics.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel that my apprenticeship programme is well structured and organised overall. When I first joined the company, I had an induction where all of the company procedures were explained and the basic structure of the apprenticeship was also explained. The day release academic training is also structured with units of work that are to be completed in the given year. In order for me to fulfil some of the requirements to complete NVQ work, I have review meetings with my team leader to discuss the academic units of work that are being studied. I will then be delegated tasks that best suit the academic work so that everything can be easily linked.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Whilst I am on day release to college, there are tutors and lecturers available to approach at any time to offer support and guidance; whether this is in lesson or during a break period. They are willing to offer their time to ensure that I get the best understanding of the work that is to be completed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
During my time at work, it is not uncommon for me to be given tasks and activities that I have very little knowledge or understanding of. Therefore when I am unsure of what to do and need some help/guidance with the given tasks, I will approach one of my colleagues or team leader. They are always more than happy to support me and provide guidance with the problems that are encountered.
My manager and team leader are always keen for me to get involved with new activities and projects to enhance my knowledge and experience.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Upon starting my apprenticeship with Stannah, the pay package on offer was very competitive in comparison to other companies that I had investigated. As I have become older, my living costs have increased meaning that there is less to spend elsewhere. Despite this factor, all costs are still covered.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there are always different events taking place that I have the opportunity to be involved with. These include local community projects and trips to events and venues that family and friends can also be involved with. From time to time there will also be outings that are organised by working departments for team building activities.
9a. Would you recommend Stannah to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Stannah is an excellent company to work for. The apprenticeship programmes that are on offer I feel are a great way to get the knowledge and experience for a lifetime career; especially with the wide variety of work that can be experienced. Everyone working in the business is very friendly and easy to approach making day to day working life more enjoyable.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Stannah? *
To make the most out of the apprenticeship, it is important to show and maintain a genuine interest for the job from the very start at the application process. When it comes to the interview, just be yourself and show your desire for the opportunity. Don't be afraid to ask any questions- it shows you are interested and will give you the information that you wish to obtain. This is something that should never be dropped as it is one of the best way of learning and clarifying. It would have been nice to have more of a detailed insight regarding what the day to day job would involve, however it has turned out to be better than what I was originally expecting.
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