1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work on a level 2 incident management role. I monitor a queue for the CPS application and fix any problems that arise throughout the day. I fix things through the use of using SQL and UNIX. My role is technical but it's a quiet role, not a lot to do day to day.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Through the day to do roles and the apprenticeship training i have learnt some IT skills, but nowhere near as much as was expecting before i started this job. The teaching at QA was very good and has probably been the best part of the two year course. This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions was a very good teacher who kept the training courses fun alongside learning the content. We completed our mandatory exams with QA and i passed all of them. I have looked for further training courses to complete outside of the apprenticeship programme, but with a majorly low training budget from HPE, there has been no courses available. I have friends who work in other IT companies in the local area and they have multiple chances of completing IT courses, something i feel is vital for young staff to grow knowledge and confidence, i am disappointed we don't get these opportunities at HPE.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
QA Apprenticeships held the responsibility of teaching us the external courses and to help us gain our qualifications needed to pass our Apprenticeship. As i said earlier, QA were very good teachers and we all passed our courses. One bad thing was some of the courses that we learned were totally pointless. We had a weeks course on Python Language, even though this is something that we do not use at HPE. A week on IT Enterprise where we learnt about general IT knowledge, stuff that we had already learnt in IT lessons in high school. This was another wasted week learning about stuff we didn't need to know for our day to day roles. Alongside the courses we had to complete a portfolio which consisted of 8 different units. This was a mandatory part to complete the apprenticeship, although once again, all of these courses had very little or no relevance to the day to day roles that we were doing at HPE. These took a long time to complete and not once of us got any benefits from doing these units.
4. How valued do you feel by Hewlett Packard Enterprise?
I feel having the title of 'Apprentice' holds you back quite a bit as i feel we're seen as the bottom of the pile. I have held 3 roles within HPE now and i haven't felt needed in one role yet. My first role i felt as if i was an outsider in the team. Team members seemed reluctant to assign me tasks and to teach me stuff. We even moved buildings and there was 7 of us on the team, 6 of them sat on a bank of desks together, while i was positioned on a different bank of desks with 3 random people who were not on my team. When i moved onto my second role, i was told this would only be a temporary role and i would only be on the team for 3 months. 3 months turned into 10 months of being in a role that i did not want to do. This was a process role with a lot of copying and pasting information, not a role i ever saw myself doing - especially not in an IT company. After months and months of requesting a team swap i finally got one to where i am now, L2 incident management team. I enjoy this role, but i still feel that i am not needed. There are 3 people on the team, i think this team could easily function with 2 people. Quite a lot of days there is hardly any workflow and i there is nothing to do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As i explained earlier, having our external training courses taught to us by QA Apprenticeships was the best part of the apprenticeship, but on a whole i have had a very negative experience. From the start of the apprenticeship the whole 2 years seems to have been underestimated and has been planned extremely poorly. From the first day, security access was a big issue for all 14 of us who started at the same time. I did not actually get security access til around July-August, 3-4 months after i started. This meant i literally had to sit in a random room, in a random building, with no work set for us to do for a 4 month period. This is not how i wanted to start my career in IT. After i finally gained access so i could get into the building where my new team were situated, i now did not have access for the systems that i needed to work on. This now took a further two months. So i was 6 months into my IT career and i had not yet done a days work (apart from the training courses at QA). There was a two week period from when we accepted the job offer from HPE to the actual starting date. They had all of our details and we had singed the contract, this is when they should have sorted security access for us so that we could literally start on our first day, not 6 months later. We are coming to the end of our 2 year apprenticeship and 2 years will be on the 14th April. This is when we were all expecting to graduate and to become full time employees of HPE. Much to our amazement, only a month ago we were told that we won't actually be graduating until May, another thing that had been very poorly communicated between management and the apprentices as we knew nothing about this. The worst part about the apprenticeship is what all of the Wave 1 apprentices are going through at the moment - this is in regards to our Apprenticeship Completion pay-rise. When we first applied, we were all under the impression that we started on £12,000, after one year £14,000 and after two years and the completion of the apprenticeship programme, we would be on £19,000. We all thought this because this is what was advertised on the website when we applied. We have been pushing for an actual answer since December 2015 on what salary we will be on at the end of the apprenticeship, something that none of us still know. Trying to progress with this through management and actually get an answer has been an impossible task. We are due to graduate in less than a month and we still no nothing about what pay we're going to be on. Even with a new Apprentice Manager appointed recently, communication is extremely poor between the apprentices and management and the only way that we find stuff out is when we ask questions. When we first joined, we were told that the plan was to change roles every 6 months so everybody got an experience of an array of roles, when in reality, this did not happen. Most people have been stuck in the same roles for the 2 years. When i actually wanted to switch roles, this was a very hard task to do as management seem reluctant to let you swap teams.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
QA Apprenticeships were by far the best aspect of this Apprenticeship. This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions was a brilliant teacher and our apprenticeship assessor, This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions, was also very helpful. We could always reach out either by email or telephone and get a speedy response. All of the training courses were taught to a high standard and all 14 of us were able to completed the apprenticeship at the first time of asking. The facilities that QA host in Newcastle are very modern and was a great environment to learn in.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
When we first joined, we were under the impression that we would have mentors, this never happened. Managers can be helpful, but a lot of times they're really busy and don't really have time for you. This is especially evident when i tried to move teams from my first role. It took about 2 months and i didn't receive a lot of help from my manager. With HPE being such a large company, it's very hard to get noticed when you start at the bottom. Sometimes when you email managers it takes them weeks to reply, or sometimes you don't even get a reply.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For an apprenticeship, the wage that HPE offers is a very good one to start on. Although, as i explained earlier, the whole issue around our 2 year pay rise has been handled very poorly from HPE as we still don't know what we're going to be put on and if it's not £19,000, we want to know why this was advertised to us. I live only 10 minutes away from HPE Offices and i still live with my parents, this means that i can cope on the wage that i am on. However, i had to change my social life a bit, i can't afford as many nights out and social activities as i used to do. Also training was in the center of Newcastle for the apprenticeship courses. This meant i had to get public transport into the Newcastle, costing £35 per week, this was not reimbursed by HPE.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
HPE has a great social network and there are lots of opportunities outside of work. I play for two different football teams in HPE, one for internal employees on a monthly basis, and one every two weeks on a Friday night in a business league. There are regular nights out, some organised by other people, some organised by the apprentices. In our group of apprentices we have also done many activities such as Bubble Football, Paint-balling, nights out.
9a. Would you recommend Hewlett Packard Enterprise to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
With my experiences at HPE, i would not recommend a friend here. Ever since day one, i have had a negative experience starting with security clearance. I also feel the office is very poor for working in. The toilets are always out of order, the carpet is teared all over the place and floorboards are uneven to walk on. The cafe is full price to HPE members of staff - Where nearly all other companies on the Cobalt Business park have subsidized cafes for members of staff. The training Budget for such a large company is very poor. There is no or very little opportunities to get training and certification through HPE. Social events, such as Christmas Parties, are not funded by HPE where other IT companies seem to do this.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Hewlett Packard Enterprise? *
Be confident in the interviews and take pride in your appearance. In the on boarding process ask as many questions as you can to get the most information possible out of the sessions. Try and do as many out of work activities as this helps you meet new people and create a larger network of friends.
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