1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Supporting and maintaining critical bank applications. Maintaining a managing my team's ticket queue and work stack. Training and learning COBOL, JCL, SQL and JAVA on the side. Any other smaller, but still pertinent tasks which need done.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes I have learned a fair few technical skills such as bits and pieces of COBOL, JCL, SQL, and JAVA. I have learned how to use Hewlett Packard Server Automation for looking through front-end java application server logs. I have learned how to use an IBM mainframe and various different utilities. On top of the technical skills I have learned I have picked up many business and professional skills to. For example: time management, business etiquette, managing/interaction in meetings, business dress code and health and safety rules and much more.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have enjoyed my programme, I feel that I've picked up a lot of new skills which I can take with me throughout my career. I've also met a lot of great people who are fantastic at what they do. The only disappointment for me when I joined was not being placed in a programming/software development role which I had expected when I approached my apprenticeship provider. I really wish to do more Java based programming in the future, hopefully with RBS if possible.
4. How valued do you feel by RBS?
I think RBS do appreciate the role young people can play and the value they can bring - especially where there are aging systems which will need to be supported and there are few people coming through with the necessary skills - to the business. My only concern is what the future holds for RBS apprentices and how much security we have in our jobs and roles.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think the structure of the course has been okay but I think there should be more communication regarding the structure and training/development plan in the early stages of the apprenticeship. I had no idea what courses I was to go on or where any of this would take me. I would still recommend the apprenticeship though as the training available is great and gives you great experience for the future.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I think the support is available if you go looking for it, but I think RBS would be able to offer far greater levels of support for the early careers people. I have been given support to an extent, but my meetings with my assessor/anyone from the provider seems to be more about ticking boxes rather than checking how we are doing and how our development is going.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have been very happy with the support from RBS, my Line Manager/s have been great, there are early career people always on hand if there are any issues, there is a confidential phone line for issues I can't take to anyone in person. I always feel like I have the support and backing I need from my Line Manager, team and department as a whole. I'd say RBS are a good company to work for definitely.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I think we are compensated very well as apprentices, although my travel time is around 4 hours per day I feel there is so much flexibility that it's not as big a problem. There are smaller buildings dotted in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond to meet the needs of any apprentices. Also there is the ability to work from home should you need it, therefore I never have any issues with RBS on this topic.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are always opportunities for volunteering, clubs, events, sports leagues, training and even group wide challenges. RBS offer lots of these to apprentices but also to other staff, so you can always network with other people.
9a. Would you recommend RBS to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I think they are a good company to work for, compensate well, provide lots of opportunity and flexibility and really care about making a difference for the customer. Also, see all my answers above.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RBS? *
Relax, the interview process isn't there to catch you out - it's there to confirm that you're definitely the right candidate so just be yourself. If you're applying to be a programmer/software developer it may not be for you but there are plenty of opportunities should you apply yourself and proactively seek them. Great company to work for!
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