1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an electromechanical (multi-skilled) engineer. For the first year of my apprenticeship I am sent to Kingston College for training in their extensive engineering department. I do a level 2 PEO in engineering Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, then on a Thursday I take the first year of my Level 3 BTEC in engineering, which is completed on a day release basis in the second year, with the remaining four days spent onsite with a trained engineer, gaining skills on the job.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
By the end of my apprenticeship I will have a PEO level 2 & a BTEC level 3 in engineering, but will also have the opportunity to gain a HNC and HND in engineering.
I have learnt loads of functional skills in the PEO level 2, and loads of theory based knowledge on the BTEC level 3
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy all of my programme as there are loads of opportunities. I have climbed a mountain, and abseiled 100ft off a disused railway bridge in Derbyshire. Only 6 months later are we going to Eskdale in Cumbria to do similar activities. The apprenticeship team are helpful and courteous, and the company is very welcoming and helpful,
4. How valued do you feel by GSK?
Our manager is always giving us praise, assistance and guidance whenever we require it. Staff from my site in Slough always like to explain the situation, what we are doing and what the equipment is/does, they like to hep me progress in my career. When we visit schools there is always a lot of interest in apprenticeship opportunities and GSK, and we are always asked to help at these events.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We spent a week on site before we went to college where we were enrolled for college and did our site induction and all our important training. When we are on half term from college we are given a day where we can study and complete any outstanding work. If there is a subject we are struggling with we are given a practical example on site, or its thoroughly explained to us. We are not given many tasks in the first year as we are only on site for one week every few months. Our programme is well organised with regional and national apprentice teams who keep in contact with us. We also get quarterly e-newsletters with any important or interesting information
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our training centre, Kingston College is the best in South East England. Our course leader is unfortunately not overly brilliant. He normally is talking/messing around with apprentices from other companies such as Mars or Heathrow Airport to deal with work related questions, as well as putting other GSK apprentices on the spot, humiliating them in front of colleagues and peers. The head of the engineering school, and the other tutors are helpful and up to the standard we expected. The support services at the college are very good.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Our manager and HR team are very helpful and attempted to deal with our IT issues as quickly as possible when we first started at GSK
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
All the costs for getting to and from college are paid for, so our salary is completely for us to use. This means we can put more money into our pensions, rather than spending £250+ a month on travel
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
We have been on a team building exercise to Derbyshire, and one to Cumbria next month, we have been to the site Christmas party, and will be going on a apprentice and IP student boat party along the thames in May.
9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a very good employer with amazing opportunities and benefits
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *
make sure you keep a clear head, and be honest. Make sure you are yourself!
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