1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Operations Apprentice I spend half of my time at a college called EEF learning both practical and class room skills. The rest of my time is spent on a Severn Trent site where I am able to apply my knowledge from college and interact with other workers to help with my college assignments. As I continue to learn more at college my responsibilities have increased. Most days on site I shadow an operator who issues me tasks such as collecting and calculating figures based on the inflows and outflows of water through the site each day.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Before I started my apprenticeship I had no previous water treatment knowledge, my skills and understanding of the water treatment processes has greatly increased and I now understand many processes in a lot of detail. I also learn maintenance skills when at college to allow me to have an understanding of the job roles of other people in the industry as well as deepening my knowledge of the treatment processes.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
At Severn Trent I am able to chose my own learning path and how I chose to progress, if I want to gain more qualifications and move to different parts of the company then these options are available to me. This has meant that my expectations have been more than met and I am enjoying the program more than I expected due to being able to chose what I wish to do for the rest of the program.
4. How valued do you feel by Severn Trent?
My new team at Severn Trent have made me feel welcomed and helped me to fit in by involving me in team activities and by setting me tasks and projects so that I am involved in the daily onsite running's. My manager ensures that I am getting the best out of my apprenticeship and allows me to push myself to go further in my learning. Severn Trent as a whole have made the apprentices feel really valued, they have done this by treating us as an asset to the company and providing training as well as an outward-bound induction week to the Lake District.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There is a structured plan for our learning to ensure that we cover all aspects of our possible job roles. The plan includes weeks at college and weeks on site learning the job roles first hand. My manager sets regular one to one meetings with me to check I am getting the most from my apprenticeship, allowing me to plan my time on site and discuss any future ideas and problems that I have.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
At EEF we are taught both by EEF staff and by contractors called Merit Skills. EEF provide us with a tutor and weekly tutor sessions to deal with any concerns or guidance that we may have. The teaching staff at EEF are very helpful and ensure all students have an understanding of the tasks that have been set. The teaching staff at Merit Skills are especially good, they plan well structured classes and are always available to aid us with our assignments and any other queries that we may have.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager and the HR team constantly keep in touch with me and have meetings to assess how my learning in my apprenticeship is progressing. My manager sets regular one to one meetings with me to check I am getting the most from my apprenticeship, allowing me to plan my time on site and discuss any future ideas and problems that I have. HR have ensured that all apprentices attend relevant training for their job roles as well as providing activities and opportunities to get us involved within the business. Both my manager and the HR team are always available if I have any questions or concerns.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
At Severn Trent I get paid really well and earn plenty to allow me to cover my living costs and also to save a lot at the same time (I am able to save half of my salary and still have enough left to live off!). Severn Trent also invite all apprentices to join their share save scheme to allow us to save our money into shares and earn a high interest at the end of the scheme. At Severn Trent I have very few travel costs as I am reimbursed all travel costs that aren't to my work base, this covers petrol, car wear and tare, train and bus tickets.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As apprentices we have been involved in representing our apprenticeship scheme at Severn Trent at the Skills Show that the NEC holds. We have also been given the opportunity to visit our old schools to promote the apprenticeship scheme. Severn Trent offers all staff two days additional leave so that we can get involved in voluntary and charity events within our local community.
9a. Would you recommend Severn Trent to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Severn Trent has made me feel a valued employee. The company is large so there are lots of different job opportunities to meet all career interests as well as having lots of opportunities for promotions. Severn Trent will fund lots of college and university courses for its employees so you can continue to learn and develop both your education and your career for as long as you wish.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Severn Trent? *
To be successful in gaining a place on the Severn Trent apprenticeship scheme you should answer all application and interview questions truthfully. You don't need to have lots of qualifications and job experience, you just need to show you have a willingness to learn and will be hard working. Severn Trent want to employ people that fit the Severn Trent behaviours;Personal Maturity, Clear Thinking,Drive to Deliver, Effective Communication and, Responsible Team Membership. My advice for the assessment centre is to get involved in the group activities and allow others to voice their opinions, be confident and answer all questions clearly and honestly.
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