1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is a 'Building Services Engineer Apprentice' at BTEC Advanced Level 3. On a day-to-day basis I undergo a variety of different tasks. These tasks may include, design calculations, marking-up design drawings, and many other tasks.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I joined Atkins I had next to no engineering experience or knowledge. Within the first week or two I had done several online training courses, these courses helped me gain a much greater understanding of the basics of Building services engineering. Not only have I gained knowledge based skills, I have learned to better myself as a person, in terms of social skills, confidence and how to present myself professionally.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The main reason I wanted an apprenticeship was so that I could leave education and start a career. I feel that this was a wise choice and I was even 'wiser' to choose Atkins. The team here are always willing to help and collectively there is always somebody that has the solution to any problem I face. I was not expecting to enjoy an office job as much as I do, but thanks to the interesting work, I don't dread Mondays.
4. How valued do you feel by Atkins?
At Atkins, although I am only an apprentice of 17 years old, I have been made to feel as if I am 'an adult' or 'one of the team'. The managers here do not over look me and always greet me with a smile around the office. Considering my short time here at Atkins, I have been involved on some big projects and have been given various types of tasks within them.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
During my 6 months here, I have been supported all the way through. Everybody here is organised and on the off chance that something goes 'wrong' the well structured team sort it in no time. I have regular 'catch-up meetings' with my line manager to ensure that I am on-track, Enjoying the work I am doing and for a general catch up.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provided, are always willing to help. Whenever I ask for guidance or help I am always given the support required if not more. There is always a positive attitude towards supporting me and I am very pleased with how I am treated.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
On a daily basis my line manager checks that I am okay and that I understand the tasks I have been set for that day. If my understanding is not 100%, my manager/s are always willing to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Before I started the apprenticeship I was very impressed by the salary. A month or so into working I was told by several apprentices at Atkins, doing the same course as me, that they started on a higher amount. I also spoke to several apprentices on my course who work for different companies and they all started on a higher salary than myself (including the boy who is younger than me). Travelling in and out of London is extremely expensive and costs me nearly a quarter of the amount I earn annually. I also pay rent, national insurance and food costs. This leaves me with a very small amount of money for 'social costs' or buying the things I would like to.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Several times a week I receive emails regarding opportunities outside of work. These include company events or activities, training courses, social events with colleagues and various volunteering opportunities.
9. Would you recommend Atkins to a friend?
I would definitely recommend Atkins to a friend as I do not dread coming to work. I have so many people say how they "don't want to go to work" or "Dread Mondays" or they say "Thank goodness it's Friday". Here at Atkins I do not feel like this. Although the pay is not the best I am happy to come to work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atkins?
The one main tip I would give to somebody apply to Atkins is 'be yourself'. This sounds cliche but it works. The people who are going to be interviewing you are normal people too. If you try and pretend you are something you are not it shows in your actions and answers. Just be yourself, keep a cool mind and smile.
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