1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as a Technical Apprentice is to work in a different department of the business every 3/4 months, gain an understanding of what the departments role is with regards to the project and complete work for that department. In my current placement in R&M it is my role to update predictions on generic components, such as: diodes, switches, piping and AEA, this requires analysing data from in service data for the Hawk aircraft. The data is compiled onto spread sheets which need to be organised before any data can be assessed.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my skills on programmes such as Excel, learning new formulas and generally just working faster. I have also learnt how to use engineering judgement correctly to come to a justified decision with regards to an engineering query. This all counts towards my NVQ L3 gathering evidence to meet the criteria, a placement Log Book is filled out in order to complete all 7 units. I look forward to my future within BAE as i know there will be more opportunities to grow and learn new skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme as a whole is very good, however I am not enjoying my current placement as I don't feel like it stretches me enough, the work is dull and doesn't interest me, the team is mostly alright however the manager does not treat me like one of the team, there is a colleague who has been at the company for years and I am certain I could do his job better. the department however did meet my expectations because with a name like Reliability and Maintainability it was never going to really grasp my interest.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Overall I feel valued as an employee for BAE Systems, the training manager and our HR manager will do their upmost to make me feel so. I haven't received any recognition for any work I have done over and above, in some cases where other apprentices would get recognition on a job we have completed together. I get no appreciation from my manager of R&M. I understand all the apprentices and employees are in a similar boat but it would be nice for hard-working members of staff to get some sort of recognition.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised, with more than enough information and support, we have regular reviews with our training manager where we discuss progression and objectives, we are delegated tasks usually based on our skills. the hierarchy of management is basic and laid out wherever we go. I am happy with my current situation in the business and it is pretty well organised and meets my expectations so this is not something i can really be frustrated about currently. We have not either been shown any different to worry about either.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As an apprentice I attend 1 college day a week with HETA and currently I am working towards my HNC, the tutor is very helpful and has all the time and support for us. any tutor is easy to contact when not at college as they are just an email away. I do enjoy my college day as I like education and learning new things. I think that overall i recieve all the help i need and i know if i need more help then it's there and i can always email my teachers at HETA and ask them for help on any outstanding work i am doing when i am not in college.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
we receive a lot of support from our training manager as he visits once a week asking if there is anything we need, making sure we are keeping up with targets and asking about our general wellbeing. the HR team are very approachable especially when you have a problem as they will do anything in their power to support you. My supervisor at work is extremely helpful and i can honestly say they do a lot for all the apprentices and ensure they are happy and comfortable within the business and get any help that they need too.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Not Very well, I get by however. rent is expensive and finding somewhere cheap to live is very difficult, with petrol prices at a high the 35 mile round trip is getting more costly, I go without tea most days and have resorted to a credit card to help me get by. I know that for an apprentice my wage is really decent though compared to minimum wage for an apprentice and also compared to other apprenticeships in the local area. I appreciate the money i do get, however it is quite difficult to live on my own on my current wage and with living costs constantly increasing.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
there are plenty of opportunities outside of work, as an educational ambassador I occasionally go into schools/ colleges or along to events to discuss the benefits of the apprenticeship scheme, introduce kids into the world of engineering and sometimes completing activities (usually with the younger children). I really enjoy this and would say this is my favourite part of the job as it is the closest thing to a customer facing job I can get in the company.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Fantastic benefits, the money isn't too bad for a school leaver, there are so many opportunities if you wanted to work abroad, the qualifications gained are better than most with the opportunity to continue onto a degree. I would say that it would be more suited to younger people as the wage is not the same as a full-time employee and would be difficult for anyone supporting a family and having living costs but for anyone coming out of school then it would be great for experience, learning and getting some money too.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Be yourself, make sure your application stands out from the rest, express your interest in the company and the work they do, research the company. in the interview it is important to stay calm and at the end ask any questions that will make the interviewer thing you are interested. Ensure you are up to date on news with the company and any deals which have been advertised in the news. Present yourself in a confident and formal way. Shake hands with your interviewr(s) and make sure they learn about you and why you would really like to get on the apprenticeship scheme and why you would be a good choice.
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