1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Business Management Apprentice working within F-35 Sustainment in my second placement. My weekly tasks include updating booking models with hours charged to contract, updating trackers with payment details and contacting those in the US for information. I am currently working on an online Workspace project - A dashboard to have all the links needed on a daily basis by the team to make finding these links easier.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My communication skills have improved a lot, along with knowing how to communicate via email vs face to face or phone calls. I have had experience dealing with suppliers which has helped me understand how important it is within BAE Systems to chase up information / orders etc and always be on the ball. I have done an ECDL Spreadsheet course, and I am currently on day release once a fortnight to college to complete a Project Management course. We also study for our NVQ during work hours by gathering evidence from the work we do.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy working at BAE Systems. The apprenticeship so far has met my expectations of the Company and what I thought I would get out of the apprenticeship. I enjoy the BAE culture and the ease of transitioning between different departments - Its pretty much expected that you can / will move around a lot during your career here.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I feel valued by the Company as BAE Systems invest a lot into Apprentices and we are always encouraged to be involved in anything we can. There are chances of recognition within the Company and also externally, such as the yearly Apprentice Awards. I have been involved in Meet the director sessions and helped out with activity days which have been really interesting.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is quite well structured as we always know what is expected of us (In terms of agreed milestones). I have lots of opportunities to train and volunteer for different things and can always contact my assessor for support. However, I do feel it could be more organised, as sometimes reviews and NVQ sign offs are at short notice or difficult to organise which can be frustrating at times. Task delegation differs from placement to placement and if you are not being given enough work ,I know who to go to for support.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from my assessor, I know I can always contact her if I need her whether it is regarding my NVQ or general support. I think that it is quite difficult to get an appointment with the assessors sometimes, as with 60 + business apprentices at any given time, they are stretched quite thin and our NVQ work can be difficult to get marked. I think if we had 3 assessors on the programme rather than 2 (with the same number of apprentices) all of us would feel even more supported and happy with how to complete our NVQ Work.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from managers and people in my teams. I haven't had to contact HR very much but when I have, I have always been able to find the information I have needed. Everybody I have come across has been happy to help me with tasks and I think this is because BAE Systems is very accepting of apprentices - We are now a part of the culture.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is well above the National Apprentice Minimum wage for my age which is great. With my living / car costs it can be quite hard to have much money left over for social events. Travel costs to and from work are quite a substantial amount for me as I am not based at the site closest to my area. But overall ,for my age I am happy with the salary I receive.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are so many opportunities outside of work, such as Science Fairs (Big Bang), ambassador activity days, education roadshows etc. These are all Company funded and we are given opportunity to participate in them. There are also larger scale opportunities like the Princes Trust, German Exchange and organising Company event days. There are lots to help the local community such as assisting local schools with manual work, or community investment opportunities. It can be quite hard to be picked for some of these events due to being under 18, which can be frustrating as it feel like we have to miss out because of our age (safeguarding and working time issues).
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a great Company to work for and growing up in the Warton area, you couldn't not know someone who works for BAE Systems! The experience you get at the Company and also the opportunities to train and further your career are great - Especially as an apprentice but it is the same for all employees.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Be confident in your answers, the interviewers aren't there to trick you! Make sure you have a few answers ready for each interview question - so you can talk about a different answer than you put on your application! Finally, stay calm and enjoy the experience as it is a great learning opportunity.
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