1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Client Valuations Analyst LIaise with internal teams and external clients on a daily basis both over the phone and by email. Send out vauation statements, answer queries, investigate. Involved in all BAU and training others on the team.Personally i feel as though my work can be a bit mundane and boring at times although i did not expect to come into this apprenticeship and love all the work i did. there are, however really interesting parts to the work in some cases so i suppose you don't appreciate the good without the bad.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Developed a lot of communication skills as heavily relied upon to contact clients and other team members. As part of the scheme we have had to present to some quite important people and this has been useful with presenting skills and confidence. Completed first stage of IOC, with two more stages to do this year. As well as this i have an NVQ in financial services too. In the upcoming years i hope to gain more skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The fact we rotate after a year is a good experience as it broadens our knowledge and ensures we do not get bored. The company culture is quite relaxed and everyone is friendly. Social events etc within the office. Integrated well into team and treated like any other full time member of staff. I feel as though i have integrated well within the team here at RBS and i feel more confortable within the business rather than just an apprentice as i thought initially i would be treated differently to the fully employed staff.
4. How valued do you feel by RBS?
I feel that the BAU work that I do is valued by both manager and internally. I am fully involved in all tasks and numerous projects within the team. As well as the opportunity for the apprentice group itself to take part in projects too. However, I feel that on a wider scale there is little knowledge of the apprenticeship and it may not be known in other parts of the business/ externally how much the apprentices are an integral part of the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel that the structure of the apprenticeship is the part I would improve most about the scheme. There was very little training before starting at the organisation and I believe that for those coming straight out of school with no previous knowledge of the financial sector then some prior knowledge of what the business does would really help when starting this job. I feel that the role of an apprentice is not very clear within the business and that because we are so heavily depended upon for BAU, which in most aspects is great, this also causes problems when we wish to take part in apprentice projects meetings. I feel that the programme could use a little more structure as a vast majority of it is left to the apprentices themselves to sort, and there are also very few meetings internally to discuss our progress.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The support from Skills Solutions is great, it is helpful that we have one specific contact who can help with all problems or issues that we may have and then they can help us with these problems in the best ways possible. We get a significant amount of support with all qualifications off our external provider and I feel that they are always on hand to contact if we need any extra help or guidance with work. I know if we have any problems then the support is definitely there to help us.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from my manager is great, they not only help with improving my BAU but also with soft skills and developing me as a person. I would say they would be my main point of contact if I had an issue with regards to anything on my scheme as there isn't much of a mentoring system. I feel as though parts of the scheme could be improved and bettered for future apprentices at RBS however the overall communication and support is to a fairly decent standard.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I think that the salary is good for someone who has just left school and as I still live at home, it covers all my living and travel costs. However, it is often felt that there is such a large gap between the graduate salary and apprentice salary even though both schemes are so similar and the apprentices are treated as full time staff. Obviously it is accepted that there will be a difference in pay between each of the levels, however the actual structure and content of each scheme is very similar.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are a lot of opportunities to take part in charity events for RBS, and the volunteering leave that we receive is good when we want to take part in these. As an apprentice you get the opportunity to participate in more of these events that you would if not. There are also a few social events per year such as christmas, summer and the occasional pub quiz. However, this could be slightly more regular. It is great working in the city centre and Spinningfields always has something going on at lunches/ after work.
9a. Would you recommend RBS to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The apprenticeship is a very good opportunity and there are very few similar. I think that the wage you get along with the support and the skills/training you recieve is definitely worth it. I mean with universities now charging £9,000 a year and the difficulties of getting a job worsening, it's definitely worth looking into different apprenticeships in your local area. They are less spoken about in schools however. Really good opportunity overall and definitely worth it in the end!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RBS? *
I think the application process varies for everyone. But that for both assessment days and interviews it is essential to be confident, have researched the company and to look smart. It isn't expected that you have previous knowledge of derivatives of the processes within operations, but it is essential to be interested and to express your interest. Overall really just see what happens, maybe apply to a few different places as of course you cant set your hopes on one employer - a backup or a few will be needed!
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