1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an Apprentice technician, my daily tasks require me to have a good knowledge and be able to use CAD. CAD is a large part of my job role, I am assigned to a project then I will be given drawings and revisions to complete throughout the day. Another part of my day includes working with others and frequently asking questions if I do not understand, this allows me to gain further knowledge around what I am working on. My role within Atkins allows me to be able to partake in a wide variety of projects in many different departments, such as Highways and Structures.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Through this apprenticeship I have learnt how to use AutoCAD having never previously used it. This has allowed me to be able to work on a variety of different projects being able to apply the skills that I have used to the project that I am working on. I have also been going to college this is developing my knowledge around Civil Engineering, furthermore I am currently doing a Level 3 NVQ this allows me to demonstrate what work I have done. My NVQ will allow me in the future to go for my EngTech.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have found that the programme has allowed to me to develop myself, having to interact in a professional way around other employees and be able to work as part of a team together effectively to get work out on time. Being able to do this has been fun and a learning experience. I have found my time on the apprenticeship enjoyable, and I would recommend it to others. I found that it was easy to settle in to the company which I did not expect. I believe this apprenticeship has reached my expectations.
4. How valued do you feel by Atkins?
I do feel valued by Atkins, I have found that I was welcomed into the workplace and managed to settle in fairly quickly, I have found that I have been praised by my manager a fair amount which helps to keep me motivated. I feel like a have a good role within projects having my skills tested on a daily basis due to hard work, however this is good as once it has been complete it is usually recognised that a good job has been done. I have found that sometimes repetitive tasks can be set which are not challenging and are time consuming however on the whole I feel that the work I am set is good and I do feel valued
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I Have found that when I started the programme progressed fairly quickly, my initial first week was getting to grips with AutoCAD, giving us a instructional guide to work through, this gave us a good, strong foundation to the commands and what we will be doing on a daily basis, I have found that where and when I need support I do receive it, if I am not sure on how to do something then I will ask my manager who usually on the whole knows the answer, and will provide me with good relevant information that will help me in the future so that remember it for next time. I have found the studying good, I have learnt a lot and if I am not sure someone within my work place is usually available to help me. I have found that the tasks set usually come to the apprentice on the projects if they are not too difficult I have found that work is delegated to me as I have the time and resources to work on what I have been given.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a fair amount of support from my training provider, I have found my tutors are helpful and I have learnt a lot from them. I have found that If I am in need of help then they are available and will make time to help my in what I am confused on. I have found that they are they are happy to help me with whatever tasks I am stuck on providing me with good clear information that is helpful.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have found that I am able to receive support from my employer, being able to communicate with many people within the company, all of whom can help and provide assistance with what I need help with, I have found my manager is very useful with day to day questions and CAD problems, furthermore I am able to speak to him about other matters which he will then help and support me with. I have found that everyone who I have been to for help is happy to help me and will spend time to make sure that I understand.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I have found that the Salary package that I am on is a good Salary for an apprentice, my travel costs are not to expensive as I do not live too far from where I am located in my workplace, I have found that the location of my work is very feasible and I am able to commute efficiently, furthermore I can use varied transport such as car, bike, train ect.. My expenditure is not high due to the location and ease of my work i am able to manage my costs effectively.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many social events taking place within my workplace, I am able to partake in the majority of the activities, I am able to volunteer when the opportunity is provided to me for things such as visiting schools and running events for younger people who are interested in getting into the field of engineering. I have partaken in some company events such as the APA Event, this was where all the apprentices met for a couple of days to socialise and make connections.
9. Would you recommend Atkins to a friend?
I have found that my experience has been enjoyable and overall I have learnt many new skills that I can not only apply to my social skills but also my skills such as CAD and my qualifications which will help me in my future. I would recommend it to a friend as it is a good level qualification and it is giving me the foundations for my role in the future. I am being paid and being educated at the same time!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atkins?
The tips I would provide would be to just be yourself, show the employer who you are not who they want you to be, stay calm and have relevant things to say in the interview. Try not to waffle and make sure you are fully prepared for each question. Show the employer the relevant skills set that they are looking for, for example if you got an A* or high grade in a technology subject expand on what that technology subject has taught you and how you would be able to apply it to the job role.
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