1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Currently i am in college full time studying a foundation degree, so my role is to focus on the education and deliver to the best of my ability. In plant my role is Body CAD engineer, this involves being given components designed on computer or hand and creating them on CATIA so manufacturing processes, materials and feasibility can be deduced.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In terms of higher education i have learnt a lot about essay writing from the layout to the way they need to be written. As someone who got a C at A level maths i thought i would struggle but with the support and good lecturers i have exceeded the ability i thought i was capable of. In workshop i have developed loads, i cam into the company knowing little about a car, i can now take apart a diesel engine and put it back together. I can accurately hand lathe and mill a variety of products including sine bars. I have also learnt coding for CNC machines and can confidently write both milling and turning codes from an engineering drawing and use the machines to get a final product in my hand.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have to travel an 1.5-2 hours each way to complete this programme and i still wouldn't consider anything else. The opportunities given, the massive support network and the fact i don't have to pay for the university course make it the ideal situation. Being surrounded by people who think like me and have the same aspirations helps push me further whilst enjoying my time with these people.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
Very, i was chosen to speak to the minister of apprenticeships and skills, Robert Halfon when he visited the college. At the very start during our induction to the company we got given a presentation from Ralph Speth, this was a very high honour as he has many things he needs to complete in one day and he chose to use some of his valuable time to speak to us. The message that stood out is that it is 'our company' as a whole, that we are now part of the community and we succeed and fail together.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very well, considering the numbers and newness of the course the flow is smooth and any bumps are quickly sorted out. Previous to starting the apprenticeship i received a maths pack of topics and example questions to give me a head start on the course. We received uniform on time and all termly behaviour reviews are scheduled well.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Plenty, all lecturers are willing to give time outside of lessons to help with the course, as well as providing extra practice work and guidance. They also hold a CCC meeting, which is a group of representatives form the many form groups to discuss what has being going well and what not so well. They take this on board and keep us updated on any improvements as well as how they are keeping any positives.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have received a lot of support from the company, with being quite ill they have been patient with hospital visits while giving me support and update meetings to keep me on target. The connectivity they have set up with apprentices from higher years has also proven useful as i can receive help from people who have been in my shoes.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Ideally i would like to earn more so i could move to the area, but around the plants/education centres housing prices are very high. However considering i am in full time education i get paid very well, most people pay to be here, i get paid to be here. I can more than cover costs of rent at home and fuel costs as well as living my life buying the occasional handbag and enjoying nights out.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
They offer a scheme called ELS, which is an initial funding to learn a new skill, anything from learning a new instrument to new language or even skiing. They also offer apprentices to go out and meet aspiring engineers, giving children/adults the opportunity to explore the wonderful world that is engineering.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I can say wholeheartedly that it is the best decision i have ever made, 5 months in and i am still motivated to get up at 5'o'clock every morning. The opportunities the business holds are endless, they actively encourage people to grow and work up the company to make it better for everyone. The education i am receiving is relevant to industry unlike many courses, apprenticeship or not. The fact i am also being paid to learn is a big bonus. My friends who will leave uni in 4 years time with the same thing i will but in £70,000 worth of debt i say are mad. I will be able to afford a mortgage, a nice car and have the degree with no debt, it's almost madness.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover? *
Believe in yourself. They aren't looking for you to be a petrol head and know the horsepower of all the top cars, they want to see potential. They ask for the basic grades to ensure the foundations are ready for them to build on endlessly. Many of the interviewers have been doing this for a long time, a large amount were apprentices themselves, so can see the hints of personality that are needed to make the world class engineers they are going to develop.
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