1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role within the Manchester OLE team is to support with any tasks that will increase my awareness and knowlege of OLE on a whole. On a day to day basis, this means that I could be sat with a CAD engineer learning how to use CAD tools one day, then the next I could be performing some data entry tasks in order to support the release of some as-builts drawing for another project.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned how to use a new CAD package competently (Microstation). I have also learned how to use some tools that have been produced by members of my team to aid in the production of these designs. This allows me to learn about the positioning and staggers of the equipment as well as understanding why tge equipment is placed where it is.
In terms of developing existing skills, i would say that my communication skills have been broadened greatly having working within a mature and professional environment.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the fact that I am learning practical and theoretical skills around engineering at college and then being able to apply that knowledge when in the workplace. It helps to understand why things are done the way they are done greatly.
4. How valued do you feel by Atkins?
I feel very valued by Atkins. This is reflected through the respectable salary, the benefits and social events that they put on for their employees. I feel like the Apprentices do have less socials and development oppourtunities than the graduates, however, this could be percieved as something to work towards in the future.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I personally feel like my framework has not been supported very well by the company and the training providers involvement in it has caused more problems than assistance. I believe that I understand around 75% of the framework and the timeframes for completing this in order to progress, however I am not confident in this.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have 2/3 monthly meetings within the workplace with my training providor. We normally discuss if I have had any problems, have any questions about the framework etc. Other than this, I would not say that thay have supported me with any aspects of the apprenticeship as oppose to hindering me. Considering I have been reccomended not to take on an additional free course through college by the training provider, which is more applicable to my day to day work than any other courses the college offers.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
In terms of my education, very little. This is due to the fact that the training provider should have all of this covered. However, in terms of work, technical understanding, and all other workplace based aspects of the apprenticeship, outstanding support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My travel expenses are the greatest that I have, however the salary covers it for now. It wil be greatly increasing once I turn 18.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I understand this question to be about workplace socail events, trips etc. In this case then yes, there is at least 1 per month.
9. Would you recommend Atkins to a friend?
Because of the callibre of the company and the future prospects that can be created through working for such a large and successful company. Also, the prospect of swapping between teams using skills learned in one sector and applying it to another sector.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atkins?
Make sure that you have an outstanding CV and covering letter. Also, bring more than just yourself to the interview. A portfolio, workpiece or evidence of past work will maje you stand out above the crowd massively.
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