1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a CNC Machining Apprentice, who's responsibilities are to make parts within the required specification. Drawings are given to me and I then have the job to source material, plan out production and then manufacture the component to the specification. I rotate amongst departments - currently in Manual machining department. From Day 1 of my apprenticeship I was accountable for my actions through me signing batch followers once I had completed sub assembly work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have done Abrasive Wheel Training, Soft Skills Training and Geometrical, Dimensioning and Tolerancing Training. I am partaking in a NVQ Level 3 and I'm destined to complete a HNC. I have developed my existing manual machining skills as well as starting my CNC machining career. My engineering communication skills have improved and I'm thoroughly confident in talking with technical language and terms.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy what I do. I love the work (machining) and the people I have met along the way. Everybody is very nice, helpful and interested in what I'm doing. The culture, mantra and atmosphere of working for Mercedes AMG HPP is exactly what I feel comfortable in - fast pace, decision making, above board environment. The my time at work has exceeded my expectations, but my time at college could improve. I wouldn't recommend Northampton College as a F1 eligible college. The only reason I'm giving a 7 is because college can easily knock of 3 stars.
4. How valued do you feel by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains?
I do feel valued. My manager is friendly towards me and we get on in a professional manner. My Area Team Leader has said I'm performing as expecting and learning progressively. The main part of recognition for my dedication to the company will come when I get my 6 monthly pay rises. I'm involved with my colleagues outside of work - playing football on a Thursday evening and attending events with my colleagues.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My program is well organised from the work point of view. The college I go to on the other hand is not. On my first day of work I had an induction and subsequent training dates were given to me. I have received all the support I need at work and I have regular reviews with my present team leader to review my progress and evaluate my time on his/her department. I know where I stand in the company and understand that respect should be given to those that are skilled, experienced and have had a long term career within HPP. Northampton College really need to up their game if they're to keep apprentices from HPP. I am organising a college move. I will rate this a 7 (3 marks deducted because of college).
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive amply support from SEMTA. I regularly have targets to meet and progression meetings with them. College is not good, as I have previously stated. the teachers at college do not know how to use the machines they are 'tutoring' us on and they have very minimal technical knowledge. College is disorganised and not up to the standard I have previously experienced from my previous college. I would score SEMTA 90% and Northampton College 10%.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
This is a very apt question for me as I have required support from my employer. My Manager has been very sensitive to my personal situation and HR have allowed me to take time off when I have needed to. My current Team Leader is also my Mentor, so to have him know about what's going on is a bonus from a support point of view. HR have guided me through procedures on how to access our company benefits and have allowed me time during the working day to meet with them. AMG HPP are very happy and comfortable with looking after you as an employee.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
At the moment I am being paid enough to live happily with the ability to do a few leisure activities. I have moved away from home, so my current salary (£14,000) is supporting myself and my rent. My scheme dictates that I will have pay rises every 6 months until the completion of my Apprenticeship, which should ease pressure in certain financial areas. There are plenty of perks with working with HPP but some of them require additional expenditure on your part.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The nature of the company means that there's plenty to excite you about work. I come in for the F1 races and watch them with my colleagues. There was very good Christmas Party and I look forward to the Summer Party as well. I play football on a Thursday with people from work as well. I wish there was more of a social life with people from work because there's not many sport, or leisure provisions at work. Opportunities are scarce but excitement and buzz around the company is good.
9. Would you recommend Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains to a friend?
The atmosphere and the buzz around the company is addictive. Excitement is high and passion for what we do is ample. I love coming in to watch the races and I enjoy the fun I have with the people I work with. The pay is destined to increase and be good and the progression opportunities are there as and when I get the experience and qualifications. Brilliant company. I think I would be disappointed if I went to work anywhere else.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains?
Be yourself, be passionate and be knowledgeable. Increase your knowledge of Formula One, know what you're talking about in relation to your subject field and research what qualities are needed to work within F1.
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