1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an FCO, I am the first to attend a reported gas leak. This could involve an internal gas leak, or an external leak. Each day is different, which helps to keep the job exciting and interesting, as everyday is a new experience. Not only do I find, and if possible, repair gas leaks, but day to day activities include meter work, high rise surveys, medium rise surbeys, isolate services etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In the last two years, I have developed many new skills, which include how to hold and use tools correctly, which makes a difference. I also have an expanded knowledge of gas, and energy as a whole. I have developed my customer skills, as everyday involves customer interaction, and is important to leave the job ensuring that the customer is happy.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My programme has been very enjoyable. The programme has required me to travel to different locations around the country to attend the different acadamies. This is a nice break away from home, but also allows me to see how the company works in different locations, and to meet different people within the company who I wouldn't usually come into contact with. All the internal trainers, asssors and course co-ordinators have all been very helpful ensuring that we have what we need to make the most of our training.
4. How valued do you feel by National Grid?
As an apprentice at National Grid, I feel very valued. I am treated as an equal. I understand that my role within National Grid is very important as an apprentice as I am the future of the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The second year of the programme has been a lot better structured compared to the first year. Although, there has been last minute courses added which require staying away from home. Unfortunately, this can prove difficult in terms of social life and booking holiday, but having said that, it depends on the person and what they value more.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider ensures that I have everything I need in terms of materials and tools to complete my training. If I need a question answering, I have a wide support system, varying from my assessors, course trainers, programme managers, first line manager, mentor and colleagues. There is also a vast amount of information which can assist me available on the intranet.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer ensures that I have everything I need in terms of materials and tools to complete my training. If I need a question answering, I have a wide support system, varying from my assessors, course trainers, programme managers, first line manager, mentor and colleagues. There is also a vast amount of information which can assist me available on the intranet.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is higher than most apprenticeships available in the country, with the salary paying nearly 4 times the minimum apprentice pay. I am able to comfortably live whilst training and earning my qualifications. After 12 months a payrise is offered dependant on progress, and again after a further 12 months. Once completing, the salary increases.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are some opportunities outside of work, however, most volunteering positons for the company are based north of the country, and as I live in South London, it can be difficult to hear of opportinunities to volunteer and participate.
9a. Would you recommend National Grid to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
National Grid is a very well respected company. The company pushes people to reach their full potential and more.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to National Grid? *
I would advise others that this job isn't a 9-5 office job. Being an FCO is very hands on, requiring you to sometimes feel under pressure from customers. Sometimes you are required to travel and stay away from home up to 5 days at a time to complete training.
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