1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is Manufacturing apprentice. I am currently working in the tablet compression department of my site. I work running, cleaning and maintaining and cleaning various pieces of machinery on a daily basis. I do a lot of product testing during the tablet compression process, and make sure that all the products being made are within their specifications. I enjoy this as a role as there is a good mixture of technical and mechanical activity. Being so quality driven, these tasks give me a real sense of responsibility at work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have certainly developed my mechanical skills since starting my apprenticeship. My problem solving and lateral thinking skills are also used daily in order to consistently improve the products I work on. I get to interact with lots of people from various different departments and areas, helping with more personable social skills also.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am so far really enjoying this apprenticeship scheme. I can see a lot of potential for movement within and across the areas of manufacturing. The company culture is very employee focused. This makes it easy to enjoy the day to day job whilst feeling appreciated for what it is you do for a company.
4. How valued do you feel by GSK?
I feel very well appreciated in what I do. My line manager frequently gives me tasks and projects to do to assist him with his work, and allows me real input opportunity to help improve ways of working.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
So far the organisation of our programme has been a bit lack lustre, but this was half to be expected. Manufacturing apprenticeships are a relatively new concept, and my year is the first time this scheme has been run on this site. Though the training/area delegation is a bit unorganised, my manager is very dedicated to getting it to be the best fit it can for me as quickly as possible.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
So far, not very much. Our course is almost entirely distance learning, and I only really see my tutor for a couple of days a month. He is a supportive person, but the qualifications available for manufacturing in the UK can make it tricky for the units themselves to actually be totally relevant to our day to day work.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There is tonnes of support available for employees by GSK. My manager is helping me to explore options of improving my education in addition to that offered via the scheme, and there is lots of support available for outside of work issues/problems.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary, I believe, is good for this level of apprenticeship. I am living on my own in a relatively expensive town and travel to and from work. I am quite happy with my quality of life.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There is lots of opportunity to do charity and community work. You are actually expected to take one day a year (at least) to help out in a community event. There is an employee gym and club house, and there are employee events regularly. There is an apprentice event every year where you get to go to the lake district on a team building course for a week.
9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a good, friendly company to work for. They are very supportive of your individual goals, and so far are dedicated to helping tailor the apprenticeship to your personal needs and wants.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *
Be yourself. I know it sounds corny, but there is merit to every qualification and every experience. If you get through to the interview stage, they are ;looking for a well rounded person who will honour the values of the company. Not necessarily just a brain box.
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