1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is an Accounts Assistant. This includes processing goods received notes and inputting material invoices. I also have control over a project's plant which involves creating liabilities in the plant system each week and processing invoices against them. I also touch cost allocations for the All Star fuel cards, mobile phones and subcontract agency costs as well as making accruals for them at month end. I am able to provide help with completing timesheets and expenses if required. One of my responsibilities is to enforce credit control and carry out ledger reconciliations when paying suppliers. A project I am currently working on within the workplace is developing spreadsheets to improve our processes. I have regular interactions with our suppliers over the phones as well as scheme leads and our commercial manager internally.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have gained my AAT Level 3 whilst on the apprenticeship and am working towards my AAT Level 4 as well as the business skills qualification. My confidence have improved due the interactions I have on a day to day basis. I have also been learning VBA and programming in an effort to one day improve our systems.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I feel like the programme has given me an advantage over other people in the workplace as I am studying and gaining experience at the same time which is helping me to retain the knowledge I learn as the next day I could be using it for real life scenarios . I enjoy coming to work and college. The company culture is to look after people developing their career which means I am able to get support easily if needed.
4. How valued do you feel by Costain?
I feel very valued by the team I work with and my line manager especially. I feel that the project that I am working on also values my work but feel that other areas of the business do not value me as there is not enough exposure of apprentices then there is graduates.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel like my programme is well organised by my college. I regularly meet or talk with my assessor who gives my next assessment and supports me with feedback on how I am doing. I also have regular meetings or discussions with my line manager about how well my apprenticeship is going and if I need any further support.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from my training provider. The tutors and advisor/assessor regularly check on my progress and are always available if I need some support from them. I enjoy It very much when I attend college as there is not much pressure put on you as they know that you are also working.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My line manager supports me really well and will manage my workload around my college work if need be. I feel that the company as a whole could give more support or organise more events for apprentices to check up on our progress.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I believe my salary package is very good for an apprentice. I get paid my normal monthly salary as well as any expenses that I claim which is usually my travel to and from college as well as my home to office travel. Any expense from my college for exam bookings get paid by the company.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company do hold social events outside of work as well as volunteering days which you get paid for doing. If I wanted to do any outside training as well the company would support it.
9a. Would you recommend Costain to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Very good work environment and they take care of their employees by helping you to develop your personal career and supporting the decision with financial and morale support.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Costain? *
I would advice them to try and get some work or volunteering experience, have a general interest in engineering and do a lot of research about the company and reference the projects that Costain have been apart of in the interview process. I would also tell them to do as much professional development before applying which could include starting the qualification already as this will show that you are dedicated to following this through.
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