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Degree Apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£32,000 annually
Review Date:
January 2017

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I am in a department called Vehicle Configuration and Testing Systems (VCATS) and we make sure every car sold is electrically sound. To do this we do various tasks such as get involved on the vehicle in early build phases so we can eliminate any issues before it goes to mass manufacture. My department deals a lot with the software side of the vehicle. Aside from being in department, I also do external placements with my next one being in research.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Since I have been at JLR I have been able to develop many personal skills. On one of the launches I attended, I had to give information back to seniors within the company and answer difficult questions. This helped me improve my confidence and communication. In terms of qualifications, I have gained a Foundation Degree and I am working towards a Bachelor's Honours Degree.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme and I am quite sad I am into my last 18 months. My team consists of 15 people, split into four sub-departments and during my apprenticeship I do placements in all of these so I can fully understand how my department works. The programme has fully met all my expectations.

4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?


I feel over the course of my apprenticeship I have been valued by JLR. I was picked to represent JLR at the Responsible Business of the Year awards, and got to speak about my experiences with Prince Charles. I have also recently won Autocar's Rising Star in the Industry award.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The structure has been good. For the first two years I worked towards a Foundation Degree, with the first year being full time, and the second being day-release. The degree is block release, so I do one week at university then five weeks back at work, then back to university. Roughly, there are six weeks at university in an academic year. When joining JLR we are issued with a training manager, who supports us through the whole apprenticeship.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


At university we are issued with a tutor. During the first two years of university, there are delegated times to visit them and in the third and fourth year meetings have to be arranged by ourselves due to tutor groups being in at different times. I have found the tutor to be very useful throughout the degree, especially on helping with the project.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


My managers throughout the apprenticeship have been very supportive of me. They have allowed me to develop as a young person straight out of school in a mature young adult. I have developed many skills over the five years and learnt about working life with this being my first job.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary at JLR is very good when compared to other apprenticeships. It is more than enough to me meet all my living costs with some spare to save. JLR also offers a good pension package which I started paying in to as soon as joined the company. In terms of location, I am based at the Solihull plant.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


As an apprentice we have to attend Corporate Social Events (CSR). This is where we go into schools and speak to young adults/children about the apprenticeship. Many students are not aware of the advantages of an apprenticeship and we try to get these across to them. I am also a STEM ambassador, so I will go into schools and rather than represent JLR I will be trying to get students to think about jobs in the STEM sector. JLR allow me time out of my working day to do these events.

9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

Since joining JLR I have grown as a person to become a confident employee. JLR offers everything I need to have a successful career such as a variety of training courses. The salary is excellent, along with the pension scheme and other perks such as discounts on JLR and Ford vehicles. They have fully funded all my education and supported me through any difficulties faced.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover? *

The application process involved an online application form with several questions, online aptitude tests and an assessment day, which included a group discussion exercise, a practical exercise and an interview. I applied in the October of year 13 and the assessment day was held between February and April. Some applicants panic about application questions asking about engineering experience, but there are many ways you could have been involved in engineering without realising it: I wrote about doing up a house with my family. During the assessment centre, make suggestions in the group discussion and to use your common sense in the practical exercise; mine involved wiring a steering pump. My dad had given me a practice interview beforehand, which was helpful. Before you answer a question, take five seconds or so to think about the question.

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