1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The Engineering Technician Apprenticeship with BAE Systems at Rochester lasts three years. In the first year I'm stationed at a training provider where I am currently learning the basics and growing my knowledge on electronics. I attend college once a week which is where I am studying for my B-TEC. At the training provider I have different units which are specific to a subject, each unit lasts for 6 weeks and has a assessment at the end of it. We have regualar visits from BAE Systems and get involved back on site.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been able to develop my team working skills to a great extent as working with a group of 10 people all at the same level has enabled me to work well as a team and communicate well with my collegues. I have been able to improve my communication skills not only through face to face contact but also through email by communicating professionally and effectively.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed the programme so far, it has grown my love for electronics and has given me a taster to which is to come into the future which is looking to be very exciting. The programme is very supportive and people friendly which I believe is very beneficial to younger people who may have come into the programme straight from school and may not have had any experience of being in a workplace.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I feel very valued to be working at BAE Systems, they have fantastic support and opputunities in the workplace and are always open to new ideas. Although we currently do not get many visits at the training provider I do not feel like we need more regular visits due to the support we have been given by the BAE Systems staff. We have been given email addresses of people who we trust and are easy to talk to which is very helpful, responses are very quick and problems are resolved quickly.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme that I am on is very well structured. At the training provider I know exactly what I will be doing in terms of units. I have been given data sheets which show when, where and time frames of work that I will be doing so that I can come prepared to the training centre each day. BAE Systems have given us a clear outlook to what will happen when we are back on site and how the rest of the programme runs. Older apprentices are very supportive and easy to talk to.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training providers support has been amazing. When ever I need support whether is work related or a more personal matter they are always there to listen and offer support. The training provider has provided support to issues we have had with the college and has liased with BAE Systems to try to rectify the issues. I feel that the training provider has been very supportive through the months that I have been here.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Due to being at the training provider we do not see representatives from BAE Systems that often. Although this may not sound very supportive when we do have any contact or meetings with them they are very well constructed and supportive. We have support from both older apprentices and apprentice training staff who are both very supportive to any issues that I may have the the programme.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Unfortunatley the salary isnt as high as other competing apprenticeship schemes which means at times money can be tight and I have to budget. On the other hand the benefits that BAE Systems has to offer is a lot better than other companies with higher salaries. BAE Systems offers a huge range of benefits, these include discounted health care, share save programme, software discounts, car pcp discounts and many more.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there are quite a few oppuntunities. I have become friends with other older apprentices who invite us out to events which can include bowling, cinema or a night out. There isnt any organised events that are planned by the company but I dont not feel that this is necessary as I feel supported enough and feel that I fit in well with the company.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would reccommend this apprenticeship and company to anyone who has a real interest in electronics. The company is very supportive and commited to its employees with beneits. The idea of working on secret products for the government should excite anyone. The opputunity to move around the company is huge due to them having strong holdings in countries like the US, Austraillia and Saudi Arabia.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
If you are going to apply for a job at BAE Systems then make sure you do your research in the company as they really love people who have a real interest in the company and what they do. Do not panic if you do not have any background in engineering or electronics as this isn't what they are looking for, they are looking for people who can think outside of the box and have great ideas. If you do get an interview just be yourself.
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