1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
First year involves attending college on a daily basis. This is from 8am-5pm, and arriving one minute late is punishable by a disciplinary action however lecturers do not often arrive until 10 minutes into the lesson. Some lecturers are good though. Second year has just started where you are based full time in plant and work with an experienced engineer gaining knowledge while doing day release to college. The majority of college days are sat at computers doing mundane irrelevant activities.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In college I have learnt some basic electronic skills, as well as spending a year on how to write an essay that essentially ended up ineffective as the material was delivered after we had written the majority of our assignments. A lot of workshop content was irrelevant and was solely there to ensure Jaguar Lnd Rover and the college received their government grant money.
In plant the experience is very good and I have learnt lots of new skills while working on the vehicles including low hardware level diagnostics as well as communication skills with other engineers.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The education side of the apprenticeship is unorganised and frankly ran by an incompetent team of people.
While working in plant I have for the first years of my life enjoyed going to work and learning about and working on all the vehicles. It is a whole different environment and every single person is friendly to work with.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
Very little by the apprenticeship team. We are just a number that in turn makes the team look good to the whole company (hence the apprentice leader Ian Eva receiving an MBE). Ian Eva often treats the apprentices like children, shouting at and belittling them in front of colleagues, with his excuse being he is dyslexic so had a hard childhood and wants the best for everyone. An injury is a disciplinary action rather than a concern and his first priority is shifting the blame over to you to prevent any workplace accident claims. An example of this was when a machine guard was not placed properly by mere kilometres so when a bit of liquid went into someone’s eye (who was wearing safety goggles) they were to blame.
When you get into plant you feel like a valued member of the team, often being asked for assistance as well as being asked to give feedback on certain ideas. Unfortunately the apprenticeship team is shoddy and they do not care.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is not structured. There are frequent timetable changes which result in people missing lessons without notification resulting in the apprentices receiving emails stating they will receive disciplinary action if they do it again.
A lot of lessons are spent doing nothing with only a third of the lesson having educational value and the rest of the time spent on phones/computers. The lessons could be significantly shorter.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
There is a fair amount of support from the work based managers, who have helped support me after being ill and returning to work, or with any personal issues. They are very good at their job and I often receive emails from them well into the evening showing their dedication.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Lots. My actual manager in plant is supportive as well, giving me tasks to do as well as ensuring I am performing to the best of my ability. Without his support I would more than likely be sat at a desk and not get to travel to lots of different locations working on lots of different cars. Sometimes he is quite hard to reach though as he is a busy person both helping apprentices and normal employees.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Salary is excellent. I turned down another apprenticeship based on this alone. This easily allows me to save lots of money per month towards my house deposit, as well as being able to afford a nice car and live a nice lifestyle for a student. You do have to put in the hours to make it count though. The only downside being when you are sick you only receive 50% of your pay so it is very damaging.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes. There are often opportunities to go to different companies and do work with them, as well as getting money towards a learning scheme that allows you to learn a new skill every year. There is also a cyclescheme you can do which gives you a major discount on a bicycle if you are interested.
There are also numerous workplaces meet ups after work organised that allow you to be sociable after work.
9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
Once you have passed the first year in college the experience gets so much better. You learn so many new skills and meet lots of new people.
If you are passionate about cars you also get to work on some of the most prestigious and luxury brands every days. It is worth going for it as you get the salary benefits and learning benefits to, even if they are not the best.
The opportunity to go to Warwick Uni in the future is also great.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
Make sure to be yourself. Know lots about the brand before hand and do not go in blind. You will need a good educational background as well as the entry requirements have since increased. There are competency questions that you should be able to answer as quick as possible, and make sure you are very astute to detail and read everything carefully. Being able to work in a team is a must.
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