1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
currently I am on my third placement since leaving the training centre which is structural health monitoring. My job at the moment entails analysing data from strain gauges off aircraft flights and sending my findings back to the customer and giving recommendations to what they should do next. I have also done different types of work but primarily it has all been office-based. At the training centre we dabbled in different types of engineering such as technical drawing, welding and soldering electronic components and i reall enjoyed all of this work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have definitely learned new skills in the sense that I have never worked in a role like this so really everything I do I'm learning for the first time.I'm learning things like how to better analyse data; how to write engineering notes and how to refine data. I have been told by past apprentices about the opportunities you get as an apprentice and also getting the possibility of getting a degree whilst working at BAE Systems as well with it all being financed by them too which really appeals to me.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am thoroughly enjoying my apprenticeship as its my first working experience and it is giving me plenty of skills both in terms of work but also socially; I'm meeting plenty of people and I feel like my confidence is growing. overall the apprenticeship has gone much better than I was expecting-even though I was expecting a lot. I do enjoy my apprenticeship a lot and i am very grateful for what work and opportunities it has given me. I have met a lot of lovely and friendly people at work too and hopefully some friends for life as well.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
I feel very valued. BAE make a very big point about how they value their apprentices and see them as the future of the company. nothing says that more than the new training centre they've just built. constant checks are done to see how I'm fitting in and to see if I'm still enjoying it and plenty of opportunities are given to apprentices. I think that BAE Systems values each and every one of their workers and they offer a lot of help and opportunities to everyne who works here as well.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I'd say very structured. from our first weeks of induction the structure of our apprenticeship was made very clear and obvious. we have been given constant support to help guide us through this process and its clear too see its been very well organised and has been finely tuned over the years. We have not seen anything other than a really well structured programme from the start so there are no complaints from me with the oranisational aspect to the apprenticeship.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
we have assessors which go through the apprenticeship with us and are always there if we need to chat or need to ask something and are also keen to ask something themselves. all my managers have also always been really good at easing me in and making me feel part of the team. I know we can contact our training provider at any time if we need help with work or even if we have any problems which are non-work related. We are always offered help and support.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support. as I mentioned in one of the above comments BAE value their apprentices and that's clearly passed down through to the managers who are always looking out for us and again we're always being checked up on to see if we're doing alright. you can see there's a very positive attitude towards apprentices. As mentioned above, we are given help no matter if it is work-related or not work-related difficulties we are dealing with; we are always offered help and guidance.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
as I'm 18 and joined straight from school so my pay for me is very good as I'm still at home and find my pay very generous and appreciate it a lot. I never hear any complaints from any of the older apprentices living in their own houses either. I live in the middle of Warton/Samlesbury so petrol/travel costs isn't an issue. Minimum wage for apprentices is not very good (i personally think) and our wage is definitely a lot better than minimum wage so although to some it may not seem like much, it is definitely far better then what the company could pay us.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities outside of work such as charity; exchange and world skills among others. its also very obvious to see BAE is very involved with the local community. I myself am involved with a work 6-a-side team. I think there are also other opportunities that will be offered to us in the future such as a german exchange trip to germany and also to mix with other bae sites across the country more as well. I am also always included with any plans my current department has coming up (such as nights out and meals out etc.)
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Yes I would definitely reccomend this apprenticeship to a friend because I believe its an excellent apprenticeship scheme run by an excellent company who look after their employees. there are plenty of opportunities and the scheme also helps you with skills in the workplace and outside. I couldn't recommend it more. Overall I would say compared to other apprenticeships in engineering in my local area, BAE Systems offers one of the highest rates through support, wage, organisation and the skills you get as well from the course.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
just to give it your all and always be eager to impress and learn. also to take all of the opportunities that are sent your way as you wont be able to get them anywhere else. Definitely ensure you dress smart and act formal. Make sure you shake your interviewer(s) hand if you have an interview at BAE. Try to keep up to date with the company and research any news with our products and learn about the different customers we deal with too. Practice your interview skills and make sure you keep calm and try as best as you can!
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