1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an Apprentice Civil engineer in a medium size team based in Wiltshire. Most days consist of working on deliverables for a specific project, this could be CAD drawings, technical notes, Bill of quantities, reports or site visits. I am directly involved in producing work that is presented to the client as part of a team which works on transportation projects from feasibility studies to the final constructed highway.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Each day I will learn something new. This often revolves around colleagues experiences or learning from a new type of work. Most of my work is based on regulations (DMRB/TSRGD/MCHW etc.), requiring me to learn on the job.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The combination of day release and full time work in a great team makes the overall apprenticeship a great experience. Exposure to many projects and different teams (and the people within them) makes each day interesting.
4. How valued do you feel by Atkins?
Recognition of work is important within a team and at Atkins is something that is often received. Upon meeting a deadline peers and managers are often grateful for delivering the work accurately and correctly first time. Further value is felt from the client when they are happy with the project information they receive in a timely and quality manor.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organisation of the course is down to the college I attend. This is in a Unit break down with 2/3 assignment within each unit. Support from mentors is available alongside colleagues who frequently offer help or assistance if required.
The structure of the team and office is clear with a known hierarchy. Work is delegated to you by you manager and discussed in a team meeting (monthly or bi-weekly). Although there is a obvious path and flow of work from top to bottom, as an apprentice you can ask colleagues favours and to do things for you.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The simple answer to this question is "As much as you are willing to receive". Any help you need you can gain, the learning provider sets up a online system full of resources alongside this there is easy contact methods to the lecturers.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Again, the support is always there, however I did not require it. All apprentices are assigned 'buddies' a loose term used for a more senior apprentice or graduate employee who can aid you along your path.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is competitive in the market. From other apprentices I know, in competitor companies the salary is the same or slightly more. I live near my workplace and drive to work daily making this cost minimal.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are frequent company event including Christmas and summer socials. Other opportunities can arise such as nights out. One notable night out for myself was in the box at a local Rugby game. Sport events are available and are often arranged in the office. Atkins pays for each employee to have 2 volunteer days for a charity where you are still paid but work for a charity.
9. Would you recommend Atkins to a friend?
The atmosphere in the office is very conducive to being creative and learning each day. The opportunity to progress in the educational pathway is clear and supported by all staff members who want to help you reach your goals.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atkins?
Be confident and passionate in any interviews being sure you know why you want to become an apprentice but also a member of the company. The company will make you welcome and take you through the interview process in a clear way, informing you about Atkins and will answer any questions you have about the process.
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