1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a nuclear higher apprentice, I undertake placements for three years around the nuclear related departments whilst studying part-time for a degree to be fully achieved after five years. Day-to-day varies depending on what placement I am in, most placements I will be at a desk pretty much all day and some placements I'll be out of the office for the majority of the day, it just depends where I am at. As part of each placement I get set objectives, this could be projects to work on or just to gain an understanding of something.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I haven't been at the business long enough to gain any new qualifications however I have been on numerous training courses, majority internally. I would say the main skills I have developed would be my communication skills, this includes my confidence as well. Communicating with a range of different people, of different ages at different levels is something that is done regularly at my company and I quickly developed this skill.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I've enjoyed the scheme to different extents over my time as I think it really depends on what placement I've been in, I've come to realise I prefer placements where I am out of the office for some of the day and in a technical role. It was difficult transitioning to working life in terms of the social side of things, how interested you are in what you do and how rewarding the work is. I've found there are placements with people who are nice and you can relate to and there are some placements with people who don't talk very much. I would say the scheme hasn't really met my expectations, partly because both the work and college side of the scheme isn't well organised. In terms of college, I turned down a degree for the scheme but it hasn't filled the academic void, I haven't found it challenging, engaging or of good teaching standard.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I wouldn't say I get much appreciation from the company unless I have a good placement manager who does appreciate me however sometimes I've felt more of a hindrance than an employee to my placement managers. Some of the placement managers will make sure I have work to do that is relevant to the team and some I have had to pester for more work.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I would say the induction, support and review side of my scheme is well organised however the placement, college and training side isn't. We do have mentors that support us as much as we need them to but overall I wouldn't say my scheme is that well organised however it has improved since I first joined
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Forgetting about teaching quality I would say my college tutors are reasonably supportive, they always get back to me with questions via email and encourage me to ask them questions if I don't understand something however they aren't the best at explaining things.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I would say the support form my line manager and mentor is great, if I ever have any problems they make time for me and help me as much as they can. In terms of placements, the support I have received varied depending on my placement manager, I've had both good and bad experiences.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I would say I am paid very well for my age and have a lot of expendable income as I have very low living costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In terms of company events there are not that many opportunities. In terms of the local area there are sports facilities and clubs that are possible to join however unless you already have a network of friends in the local area I don't think you can make that many friends through work as the social side of work is quite poor.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I believe although I have not had the best time, the scheme is well suited to certain people and I know many people who say they do enjoy it and believe in it.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Start your application as early as possible and take your time with it, for your interview make sure you come across as a strong person who is good at speaking about themselves and what they have done. Make sure you talk about everything you have done that can be related to the company and is relevant.
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