1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an apprentice I can work on various projects around the company doing a vast number of different roles. Day-to-day depends on whether or not I am on a project. If I am then I will usually travel to the office and complete a number of tasks. If I am not on a project then I will be on "the bench" which means I have no work and must keep myself busy doing something else.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
With the apprenticeship I have gone on several training course which were supplied by QA. I have learnt Java and SQL. I have also improved my Excel and Word skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme is good if you are on a project and doing something you actually want to do. More often than not it is difficult to get a "real" role and so you will be assigned to a project to complete mundane tasks such as testing or PMO work. Apprentices at CGI seem to be forgotten and there is very little differentiation between them and sponsored degree students. The majority of people I work with are very friendly and helpful, however, it is difficult for them to teach you much as they have a lot of work to do themselves which often leaves you doing something trivial to keep you busy.
4. How valued do you feel by CGI?
CGI does not value apprentices very highly at all. I have spoken to the person in charge of looking after apprentices only once when I actively reached out in order to report a problem. Apprentices are often over looked and forgotten.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I've attended about 8 training courses, provided by QA, over my first year. These courses are about a wide range of things; useful courses such as SQL and Java (I am on a business intelligence programme) and far less useful ones such as networking and systems development. After taking the course I am supposed to then do actual work to develop these new skills, however, this only happens if you happen to be on the right project at the time.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
QA have been extremely helpful and transparent throughout the whole programme. My assessor has gone out of her way to help me with any issues I have raised to her.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Very little support is given by management. There is a great deal of politics involved at CGI and management are almost entirely concerned with making as much profit as possible which often leaves me as an apprentice doing a role with very little training or support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
In my first year I was on £14,000 which was okay but given the fact that we very very rarely receive a bonus at Christmas, I feel that this figure is quite low. In my second year I am now on £18,750 which I feel is much better. Also, as I live outside of London but need to commute there day-to-day all of my expenses are covered.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
If you live in Essex then no. There is a sports and social club which is £5 a month and that money is supposed to go to paying for events, however, in my time here I have not seen a single event be announced. I occasionally go out for a drink with the people on my project but this isn't often.
9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
You can earn more/just as much doing the thing you actually want to do somewhere else. I feel like I have wasted a year of my life and I have another one to go. You're much better off finding an apprenticeship elsewhere in a company that values their younger, more inexperienced employees.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *
If you really want to apply then don't worry about your grades or skills in IT as none of it really matters. As long as you can use excel basics and word then you will be fine.
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