Multi-Skilled Engineering Technician at GSK

Start Date:
Barnard Castle
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£15,000 annually
Review Date:
June 2017

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My day-to-day tasks change constantly, this helps to ensure that as an apprentice I am constantly engaged helping broaden my knowledge and skill set dramatically. Tasks can include: completing work orders, line maintenance, calibration of equipment, installation & validation of new machinery/equipment, continuous improvement etc.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Up to date I have completed my PEO level 2 in mechanical, electrical and hand fitting activities. I have completed my ONC in operations and maintenance engineering and I will be progressing onto a HNC in mechatronics engineering next academic year. I am also trained in Portable Appliance Testing, Slinging and Lifting, 17th Edition, hydraulics & pneumatics, fabrication & welding and forging. While on site I have worked on PLC's, electrical installations, optimisation and maintenance of production lines, line change overs and much more. General skills such as communication, working part of a team, leadership etc. have all be developed while completing my apprenticeship.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I thoroughly enjoy my apprenticeship programme at GSK. All colleagues have welcomed my into their areas during my rotations and have ensured that they pass as much knowledge as they can onto myself. Due to the nature of the company I work for there is a lot of audits and focus on producing medicines to the highest quality, this doesn't stop the atmosphere at GSK and everyone is welcoming and friendly while working to an incredibly high standard.

4. How valued do you feel by GSK?


GSK encourage recognition as much as possible wherever necessary through an internal reward scheme. I have received a lot of positive feedback from other technicians I work alongside and even colleagues who I haven't worked with. This to me shows how GSK value good work and the word spreads across site. From the appreciation I have received I got invited to attend a ground breaking ceremony by the engineering & IT director where I buried a time capsule with the SVP of Global Manufacturing and Supply to commence the start of construction to the new aseptic facility being built. From this recognition it has helped to increase my confidence dramatically and I feel as if my skills are benefitting from it. Ultimately I have been chosen to help on big projects across site due to this recognition I have received.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


For the first year of my apprenticeship I spent it offsite in a college training centre, here we learned the fundamentals of engineering while learning additional training once this was completed. This ensured that once we came onto site we had a very good idea of what to expect and we would be ready for most tasks. Once college was finished we came back to site where we started our 4, 6 month rotations lasting 2 years. This way we are able to see most of what the site has to offer and broaden our knowledge and skill set more. During out fourth and final year of the apprenticeship we will go into one department chosen by ourselves and the business needs where we will ultimately end up coming out of our time there as an engineering technician in that area. The training has been structured very well and I have learned an awful lot during my 2 years here at GSK.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


We have 6 weekly reviews with our training providers where we are set tasks and talk about our progress in our apprenticeship. This is the only time we see the training providers at the moment and if we need them outside of our review dates we can email them.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


GSK support their apprentices exceptionally, there is always someone available to help with any queries we may have; ranging from help with college subjects to help with practical knowledge on a machine installation. So far every member of staff I have worked alongside have helped me to excel as much as I can in my apprenticeship and the same can be said about the other three apprentices in my year. Without the help GSK gives, I would not be progressing as successful as I am on my apprenticeship at the moment.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary I receive from GSK is adequate to meet my living costs. I currently live away from home with my partner and the wage I receive from GSK allows me to do this. GSK also allow their staff to enrol in other benefits such as: pension and share schemes. This also helps myself in planning for the future and increasing my yearly salary. On top of all of this, I receive a bonus once a year which depends on my own performance and the companies performance. All of this ensure I am able to provide for my outgoing costs every month.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There is many opportunities available outside of work, from volunteering, charity work, careers fairs, GSK events and many more. Recently GSK sent 40 employees to climb Mt Kenya where they have raised over £2,000,000. Also my site held an EHS event where over 800 people attended from different GSK sites across the world. GSK allows up to 2 days off a year volunteering and there are numerous other initiatives that GSK employees can take part in,

9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

GSK is a wonderful company to work for, this is due to the amazing people that work here who all strive for the same goal GSK has set: allow people to do more, feel better, live longer. It is also such an amazing feeling knowing that every task/job you complete at work is helping to make the people's lives at the end of the supply chain a whole lot better, and this kind of job satisfaction cannot be found elsewhere. There is plenty more that could be said about why people should start a career at GSK, from the multiple opportunities that are available to progress on to, the chance to work abroad in different countries across the world, but as I have said before, helping to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe is definitely a perfect reason to pursue a career here.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *

During online tests, take your time and fully read the questions. The tests can be difficult, and focus is more on quality of the answers rather than answering all of the questions. During assessment days there is a presentation you must complete, in my opinion it is best to do this on something you are passionate about as you are able to speak more confidently. Also, be yourself during the assessment days and try to work as a team with the other candidates. If you end up being successful in getting a job or apprenticeship at GSK, take every opportunity you get with both hands. This way you are able to showcase your skills to more than just your immediate colleagues and you'll receive recognition for this very quickly.

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