1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job Title - Research and Development Apprentice (packaging technology) Daily Tasks - CAD modelling, meetings with suppliers, Material Testing, Rapid prototyping etc. Daily interactions - Packaging team, Supply chain team, Marketing team, suppliers (mouldmakers, prototyping firms, masterbatch firms etc). Responsibilities - Modelling and issuing 2D and 3D CAD data, qualifying mould tools, delivering innovation projects.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Qualifications - Diploma in Packaging Technology, BEng in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Training courses - CAD training, CMM training, Rigid Plastics training, DoE training, PLM software training, etc. Personal Skills - Confidence, ability to work in a team, presenting information, etc.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Work - The work is very interesting and engaging. I feel like I am actively contributing to the company's success. Team - Packaging team are very friendly. Nice atmosphere to work in. Company Culture - Company takes excellent care of employees. Example includes wellbeing sessions that are held regularly on site. Job turned out different from initial expectations, however this was a positive thing. The apprenticeship is very enjoyable.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
Unilever makes apprentices feel like a vital part of the business. Apprentices often referred to by the leadership as the future of the company. I have been involved in a number of projects where the importance of my work was the same as a regular employee.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Initial induction and introduction to the team was good. However the programme was not as structured as I had hoped (placements were often delayed due to lack of organisation). This is to be expected as I was the first packaging apprentice for this site. Structure has improved over time.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
University have been active in ensuring the apprenticeship runs smoothly from their end. Any problems I raised were quickly dealt with. Quality of tuition varies based on the lecturers, however overall pretty good.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Manager and packaging team very supportive and helpful. Everyone is always willing to help me learn. HR team generally quite slow in solving issues, however issues always solved eventually.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I still live with parents so salary definitely exceeds my costs. May be a different story if I lived alone but cannot confirm.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are regular team events such as training days, teambuilding days, supplier visits etc. Some opportunities to travel abroad, however this depends on what project you are working on.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Massive company that has a reputation for looking after its employees. Also, one of the few companies to offer degree apprenticeships (as of the time I applied).
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
Do your research about the company and the role you are applying for.
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