1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an apprentice rail engineering design technician. On a day to day I will use Bentley MicroStation to edit and produce CAD drawings of bridges. I may interact with engineers to get information on the drawings that need to be made.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, I have developed my CAD skills greatly since beginning my apprenticeship, to the point where I am quite confident in my skills. My communication skills have greatly improved in this time as well, I now feel I can approach an engineer and ask questions accurately enough to draw out the required information.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my apprenticeship, the team was very welcoming and allowed me to settle in straight away. The company has looked after me well and allowed me to improve my skills and develop.
4. How valued do you feel by Atkins?
I feel valued to an extent. Recently I have been gaining more praise for my work as the standard has improved over time. I would like to be involved in more projects though as work can be thin.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction and system for the apprenticeship is well thought out and laid out, however you get the sense that a lot of it comes from upstairs and the office itself does not have much of a say in it. This is not a bad reflection on the office or the company, but a more rigid training system for the initial few weeks and months would improve integration and early skill development in my opinion.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider is very helpful and has made starting and developing in this job so much easier. I truly cannot stress enough how useful is has been to have STEGTA as people to help carve where I want to go on this course, improve my work and know how to handle working in this environment.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The employer may have taken a bit of a back seat role due to the heavy support of the learning provider, but everyone in the office is very approachable still and helpful when required.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I struggle with my current wages because of the cost of travel to work, however I suppose this is the cost of living outside of London and commuting. I get the sense from the older apprentices that the pay increases are often and fair, so it seems to be a case of doing as well as possible with what I have at the moment and waiting for an increase.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes, there are regular out of work events for the Croydon office individually, for Atkins generally, for Atkins apprentices individually and for STEGTA apprentices (who may be from other companies).
9. Would you recommend Atkins to a friend?
Because STEGTA and Atkins make the transition from school leaver to apprentice and worker easy. The prospects are laid out and attainable as well as able to be carved out for the individual.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atkins?
Check how much travel will be to the office and how long the commute is, and ensure that travel to college is paid for before you start. Do your research about the company and the specific role you will be doing.
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