1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I joined this company as a Project Management Trainee and during the apprenticeship we move placements every 4 months. My first placement was Risk Management, and during this placement I was responsible for arranging meetings with key stakeholders in order to gain their input into the risks, taking meeting notes from these meetings, updating the risks with any changes, and keeping track of the running variance each month as the values of the risks changed. My second placement was in the Project team of Government Furnished Jigs and Rigs, where they look after the equipment used to move and hold up various different parts of the boat. During this placements I was involved in a variety of tasks, the main ones being liaising with the boat project teams to gain accurate forecast dates to be able to plan when bits of kit were needed, and planning items by creating 'manual occurrences' in SAP. I have been in planning where I gained an insight into the importance of the plan, an understanding of how to work within the system and have been given experience in the various tasks both network and detail planning has to undertake day-to-day. Finally, I have been in a project controls placement, where I was responsible for carrying out the weeekly and monthly EVM data process, distributing it to the correct teams, and contributing to the reporting process on a monthly and bi-monthly basis.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The main skills I have developed during this time have been my confidence, stakeholder management and working effectively in a team. Some other important skills I have developed are problem solving, initiative, helping and understanding others and understanding the product and organisation I was working within.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
A lot - I think the programme is very well structure, i.e. we have a placement plan at the beginning detailing our placements for the next 3 years, the programme is set up to ensure you cover all the competencies required and is focused on growing you as a person.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Very - they show that they think our wellbeing is very important. There are 4 people within the early careers department we can talk to if we have an issue, we also have a discipline manager we can go to with any problems and a placement manager who we can speak to if needed.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very - we are given a placement plan at the beginning detailing our placements for the next 3 years, regular updates on whether any placements have changed, and we have the opportunity to request placements or areas we may be interested in going.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
At college they do the lessons to suit us and cover all the necessary topics. They keep the lessons varied so we can learn in a variety of different ways. If we have any issues there are a number of people we can talk to at college or in work.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There are many people we can go to if we have any issues - 4 early careers personnel, a discipline manager and a placement manager. Our placements are extremely varied to cover most aspects of the business to give us the most valuable experience possible.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As a starting apprentice wage we do receive a very good one. Compared to other apprenticeships very similar to this one, this salary is considerably higher. This salary meets my costs very well.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As part of our apprenticeship we are required to take part in 'stretch assignments'. These are charity and community projects run solely bu graduates, trainees and apprentices from BAE aimed at developing skills in the individuals that take part that they may not achieve from their placement. An example of this is Top of the Form, an inter-schools quiz show ran by a group of graduates and trainees. Within this project, I was the events lead, and in this role I was responsible for researching and acquiring suitable venues, acquiring and testing the equipment needed for the show, and pulling together an events team to run the equipment in each of the shows.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The apprentice programme is extremely good - we are given numerous opportunities, the chance to work with important people and gain a name in the business and are valued throughout. I feel like it is an excellent stepping stone to a successful career in BAE.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Show confidence, show that you have researched the business and are interested in it, and show how much you want the job you are applying for.
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