1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Product Development Engineer - Body Engineer. My daily role involves creating parametric CAD models of components to support the development of vehicles through to production. This requires interaction with other CAD users, the departments responsible for the development and release of the components in questions, and the areas that interface with these components.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The apprenticeship program includes level 2 Performing Engineering Operation skills, FDEng in Applied Engineering, BEng in Applied Engineering, and a level 4 NVQ. Training within the work place includes Catia CAD training, Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing and other more specific courses. Some of these are being completed as TAS modules to use towards a masters degree. The course in general has helped me with planning and project management skills, mentoring and interpersonal skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
There is a fairly good atmosphere both among apprentices and my department at work. The course is lagging behind my expectations however due to a lack of organisation and limited possibilities within my daily tasks.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
It is clear the contribution towards departmental targets is valued within the company, and it is important to them that apprentices are contributing towards these targets. There is little to no link between academic achievements and internal recognition. There are opportunities to become involved in extra projects within the department and this is well recognised and encouraged.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The education/training side of the programme is partly structured, however as we were in the first year of the programme there were some teething problems (the main one being completion of a foundation degree that was not recognised by the university that we have continued to do our BEng with, meaning it is of little to no use to us). The department that I am with at work continues to develop their apprentice structure in preparation for more future apprentices. I have regular reviews with my work place learning mentor to ensure the course is on track.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have regular reviews with my work place learning mentor to ensure both training and work are on track. The university contact time is completed in week long blocks every 5-7 weeks. During this period there are a lot of lectures, and not a lot of extra time to raise issues with the tutors. Most of which are fairly good at replying to emails though. Lecture notes and other resources are provided online for learning/revision which has proved to be sufficient so far.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I am placed with various mentors within my department to help provide work tasks and training. This experience has varied by mentor so far, but most are very positive and helpful. I have the opportunity to speak with my manager as and when I need, and although we do not have regular meetings, I'm sure support would be there if needed.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I believe the salary is competitive, although the remote location of the site means that public transport is not an option from where I live. Food costs on site are very high.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I am not interested in mixing my personal time with work activities.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
There are a range of roles available on the apprenticeship with plenty of scope for learning and development. I believe it can suit particular people very well.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover? *
The application process may have changed since I started, but based on my experience it can feel very long! It is worth putting in as much preparation and practice as possible before each stage to ensure you are comfortable with what you are required to do. The tasks include online maths and psychometric testing, interviews and group tasks. Information is provided prior to each stage so it is really worth making the most of this before hand.
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