1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a 2nd Year Engineering Technician Apprentice in BAE Systems, each and everyday is different. Within our 2nd year we carry out placements around the business in various departments to gain a much fuller understanding of the business and the engineering environment that we work in. In these disciplines we carry out tasks supplied to us by the Lead Engineers or managers in this team. This allows us to get fully involved in current projects. I have been involved I 3 placements so far. I started in OPV Liaison in June last year where I worked closely with guys on the shop floor to solve any problems with the ship and production. This allowed me to get involved in major installations such as main engine and gearbox installations. I then moved onto Type 26 Requirements and Acceptance. This was completely different where I worked closely with representatives from the MOD as well as stage 1 engineering to ensure that Type 26 is build to the customers requirements and meets appropriate regulations. This included running meetings and controlling various requirements associated with engineering departments. Currently I am working in the Type 25 Stage 2 Design office where I am working on the live model of the ship. I have done mini placements within disciplines such as structure, electrical and piping to carry out various tasks such as modelling and creating drawings.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned many skills throughout my apprenticeship so far. In first year I managed to achieve an A in my HNC Engineering Systems and now working towards a HND in Engineering systems. I have also been able to develop many skills such as communications skills through running meetings and working within teams. Also management skills through organising a 'Christmas Jumper Day' across all Naval ship sites in the UK and also experience. Experience is very important within any industry and BAE Systems have exposed me to many tasks and challenges which have allowed me to improve massively as an employee within the business.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the programme that I am on. Applying for an apprenticeship for BAE Systems has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. They constantly challenge you to do better for yourself as they see the potential. I always wanted to be an Engineer and follow in my dads engineering footsteps and my apprenticeship has exceeded that expectation.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I feel extremely valued as an employee within the business. The company are constantly putting you forward and supplying you with opportunities to get involved to make you feel valued. However through the qualifications and experience that we gain we subconsciously become valuable to the business.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is very structured and organised. We are set on a plan for the 4 years and we know what we are doing in those 4 years. We are able to plan our own time with support from our training officers to make sure we are on track. We have quarterly reviews to see how we are getting on which allows you to identify any areas where you may be excelling or possibly struggling.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from the Early careers department within the business. My training officer is always there to help me with any problems that I have and he makes sure that I am given work that will challenge me and make me better. This allows me to improve as a person and an employee. I really want to continuously improve and my training provider allows me to do this. They also supply me with opportunities to get involved in projects that I never imagined I would be able to do.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
BAE Systems supports all employees, not just apprentic4es however there is plenty of support across all areas of the business to support apprentices. We are valued by the employer as we are the next generation of the workforce and we will be the ones to carry BAE Systems to the future of ship building and defence.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As an Apprentice we are on really good wages compared to other companies that I know of. It is very competitive and allows you to gain an increase every year. We are also involved in a bonus scheme which allows us to receive up to £1000 through meeting targets set by the business. This allows me to have money to cover all aspects of my life comfortably.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are various opportunities outside work and the early careers team will provide you with these opportunities however like anywhere there is always opportunities available, its just whether you go looking for them. I have personally been involved in various things such as the apprentice council, visits to Portsmouth, National Apprentice council, 1st year apprentice of the year for Glasgow Clyde College, London visit to meet the Lord Major of London and much more. The opportunities are endless and I have been lucky enough to be involved in quite a number of them.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
BAE Systems isn't just an apprenticeship. Working with BAE Systems is a career. It allows you to gain mind blowing knowledge on major engineering projects. It allows you to develop as a person as well as an employee and engineer. BAE love having apprentices as it allows then to mould us into great engineers that will be valuable to the company and through stories of past apprentices there is always progression to move through the business and up the ranks which is re-assuring for myself as I am very keen to move up through BAE. I already recommended BAE Systems to my older brother. Now he has started an amazing career as an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer and he loves it!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
My advice would be to be yourself and show the business how good you are and how you would be an asset. The apprentices are always very competitive however if you look to be very interested and keen to learn then that's a big tick in the box! Research the business and try to look into basic engineering knowledge and terminology. Ask a technical teacher in a school or go online and look!
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