1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Each day is a learning day. In our first two years we learn all necessary knowledge and theory for our life on station including trade based BTEC units. After this we are then on station for our remaining two years where we complete our NVQ qualification and are given the opportunity to start a HNC course at a local college.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Completing an apprenticeship will give you a skill for life. As an electrical apprentice I have learnt so much about electricity, not just about systems on station but about the national grid and how it operates to provide the country with electricity. I have developed my hand skills in regards to electrical activities such as overhauling breakers and I can efficiently use test equipment in a number of situations.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the work I do. I find it very satisfying to be able to understand how a piece of plant works and be able to fix it as I am a logical thinker. However, I wish that there wasn't such a gender barrier between myself and my peers.
4. How valued do you feel by EDF Energy?
Relatively valued. EDF Energy is a big company and I don't believe they hold anyone in particular esteem. I think we are all treated the same which is excellent.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well organised. In the first two years there were occassions when the class felt that the subjects we covered could be switched around to make better sense but the subjects themselves were comprehensive.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Babcock was very supportive in instances where you need extra help. In classes after the instructor gave the presentation, if you had a problem you could ask them and they would sit with you and help you understand that. In some cases they would even organise practical activities to help support the course.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Excellent support. I missed a couple of BTEC's due to illness and have been able to catch up with them thanks to the company. They also provided me with compassionate leave during that time.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I live with my partner and earn less then he does. If I were to live without him I would not be able to support myself in regards to rent, bills, food, etc. Even though that is the case I have saved a lot of my salary for the past 3 years and am able to put a deposit down on a house with my partner.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In the first two years when you are learning theory and such you are on a Navy Base. The base has amazing gym facilities and is in a great location as it is minutes away from a train station which will take you to places like Southampton, Brighton and London but in the other direction there is a ferry port which you can take to Portsmouth. Portsmouth has loads of shops both high street and designers. You also get the opportunity to take up French and travel to France every so often.
9a. Would you recommend EDF Energy to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The apprenticeship itself is very good and allows you to grow up and mature by living away from home in the first two years. I have suggested this apprenticeship to my male friends more often than my female friends due to the still existing gender barrier.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EDF Energy? *
If you don't get it the first time, keep applying. EDF wants enthusiastic apprentices that are keen to learn. To make your application look better and if you haven't already, try organising some work experience either at your nearest station or in a labour heavy work place ie a car garage. This helps show that you have an interest in becoming a mechanic, electrician or instrument technician.
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