1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an Avionics Maintenance Technician apprentice my day to day activities including removing and fitting avionics equipment, testing their functionality once done so and also some fault diagnosis work when things don't quite go right.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have completely retrained from being a sheet metal working to learning about avionics systems. This has challenged me personally and I thoroughly enjoy the challenge. As well as doing my NVQ there are other courses needed to attend for working in the aircraft environment so we can perform our jobs safetly and correctly.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love the work that I do. I get to work on real functioning aircraft and test the systems they use. The team I work with are brilliant and very helpful in giving me good training and advice.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Sometimes its a bit difficult being a fair distance from certain people in BAE systems that help me with my qualification but they are always there if needed. Good support in place via email, telephone and one to one. I feel valued as I get to do extra curricular activities and help promote the apprenticeship to other people.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organisation itself is structured well and has good advantages in helping with our qualification. Sometimes there can be confusion as to who is responsible for certain things but a solution is always resolved. We have a great amount of time to not only do the practical side of the training but the write up side of it. We have allocated times when we are able to carry out writing jobs up and completing NVQ work.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We have massive support. If we have any problems we can always see our immediate supervisor or manager on the shop floor but also there are a number of contacts we can use if we need help with or need something clarifying with the NVQ. They have a lot of time for the apprentices.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Again we have a lot of support from our employer. They want to see us succeed and do well and complete our NVQ in the best way possible as we will be working for them once we've completed. Any problems we have are sorted out in a very fair amount of time. There are many people we can go to if we have problems at work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For me personally it was a struggle stepping down to the apprentice wage. Having a wife and 2 children to support I had to make a lot of sacrifices but its all worth it in the end. Even though this is the case I have still managed to pay the bills and get to work without much problem.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities. There are many ways the company encourage people to volunteer, take part in fund raising and also with promoting of the apprenticeships. There is a presence within STEM (science technology engineering and maths) which help promote these subjects to schools around the country.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I have really enjoyed taking a different career path and love the challenge of learning something new. There are many pathways to choose from within BAE systems and I would recommend them to anybody.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Don't get stressed with the interview and testing stages. There are a lot of people who feel nervous going into it but just relax and take it in your stride. There can sometimes be some confusion too when first starting with the company and getting used to how they operate but there are many people there to help you with anything at all.
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