1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Working in an office as part of a design team, the principle activities included research, background reading especially into airworthiness regulations, liaison with customers and internal company departments (eg manufacturing), design work and drawing especially using CAD software, presenting technical ideas to company superiors, stakeholders and customers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have never used any from of coding until I came to my current placement so developing my Fortran coding has been a great help to me. Whilst on the apprenticeship at my other two placements I was involved in modelling and drawing software, things that I have used previously (such as Inventor & AutoCAD)and things that I hadn't even come across (such as TRIBON). these skills were quickly developed and with through self teaching and testing I was able to discover and use features the people that had been using it for years had no idea even existed.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Although the work was interesting and the people very friendly, some aspects of company policy let them down. The absence of Flexi-Time, instead relying on dated clock-in cards, was a major detractor. The internal management system was also sometimes difficult to use. However, overall very positive.
4. How valued do you feel by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group?
In different departments it fells very different on larger teams you tend to find you just become another cog in the clock and don't really see your works benefits of. In other places you are given a task that specifically you are responsible for, often jobs that would be given to a senior engineer. Putting your name on the work and seeing it on the ships makes me feel very valued as I can see my contribution and see that I have helped solve a problem.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Satisfactory although not perfect, the online application was good and introduction to the company very good. Placement within a relevant department sometimes not great, and placements sometimes expected to slot into whatever work hole is open. I think for future apprentices the system should be improved.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
You recieve support when ever you ask for it by either a supervisor, assessor, trainer or other people in your daily environment, help is always given when you ask. I also have a weekly chat with my supervisor and they ask me how I am and if there is anything they can do to improve work etc.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Everyone was very easy to get on with, including superiors and senior management. Treated me with respect and relied on me for some very important tasks, a responsibility I was not expecting but welcomed wholeheartedly. Very sociable atmosphere outside of the office too.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary meets my needs as an apprentice and is also a lot better paid than other similar apprenticeships, The salary however might not meeting peoples needs if they have a family to support or are older with more responsibilities. I am not surprised at my salary as my education is getting paid for and I am getting paid also.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes. There are lots of appretice social events to attend with all of the years of apprentices. There is also a lot of chances to do activities with schools or events in the local community too. We are always encouraged to help out and given opportunities to help. It is a small community to the city centre which is also handy.
9. Would you recommend Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to a friend?
Because overall it is a fantastic opportunity to get to work on what we do and in general their business method is well thought out and they have strong ethics which I can get behind. They lack some integration and progressive innovation, but with the influence of the younger generation and expertise of elder generation they are moving very much in the right direction.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group?
Always be yourself as your personality goes along way here and if you are keen to work and positive people are happy to help and more inclined to want you in their department at the end of the apprenticeship. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure you know about the company and the products too.