1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role within Thames Water as an apprentice is to assist the team in ensuring that safe clean drinking water is supplied to millions of customers. This involves completing regular maintenance on a range of equipment such as electrical panels and gas detection systems, as well as responding to breakdowns when fast action is needed.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a great deal more about engineering and the equipment and techniques available for completing a task. I have also had the chance to improve both my leadership and communicvation skills through different group and speaking challenges posed over the course of my apprenticeship. The electrical fault finding NVQ unit has also helped me to improve my problem solving skills which are essential in fault finding.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the program greatly! I feel that Thames Water provide plenty of opportunities to partake in a great deal of extra learning opportunities should you wish, as well as pushing you to be the best that you can. There is plenty of support and assistance provided throughout the programme so although you are in responsible of the work you do there is always help available if you need it.
4. How valued do you feel by Thames Water?
I feel that Thame Water values its apprentices highly as they regard them as their next generation. They aim to train their apprentices to the highest standard so they are ready to walk straight into their job role at the end of their apprenticeship. Thame Water is constantly trying to improve their programme and the incentives provided for their apprentices. I personally feel that Thame Water listens to and values its apprentice's opinions as well as respecting the work we do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The Thames Water programme is really well organised. There is an entire team dedicated to ensuring the programme runs smoothly. The goals for each year of the apprenticeship are clearly laid out and Thames Water provides great support to ensure that these goals are met. When you arrive on site a Thames Water mentor will already have been arranged for you, this person will support you over the course of your apprenticeship with your NVQ.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
During my apprenticeship with Thames Water the support I have received from training provider has been second to none. I have received monthly face to face visits and in depth conversations about next month's goals each time. They have not only supported me with work that they were in charge of but other work as well. They were always on the other end of the phone if I needed help or advice.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Within the Thames Water apprenticeship programme there is an entire team dedicated to ensuring that the programme runs smoothly and that you are equipped with everything you need. When you arrive on site a Thame Water mentor will already have been arranged for you and this person will support you over the course of you apprenticeship with your NVQ.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
In the time I have been in the Thames Water apprenticeship programme the salary per year has increased and in comparison to many other apprenticeships, both locally and nationally, the wage is very generous. I myself am renting a room in a house and my salary more than covers my rent and living expenses as well as leaving enough to save for the future.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The apprenticeship programme itself doesn't involve many opportunities outside of work; however Thames Water as a company does have after work opportunities. For example you can volunteer to educate local groups on the work done by Thames Water or join a group in completing an activity to help raise money for the company's nominated charity WaterAid.
9. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
I would recommend the Thame Water apprenticeship programme because I feel that the knowledge and skills gained are invaluable and the support given is fantastic. There aren't many people who can say that they enjoy their jobs or that their job is fulfilling but I feel that anyone with an interest in engineering can say that about the Thames Water apprenticeship programme. Another reason would be that Thame Water is a diverse company that welcomes anyone.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
When applying make sure to read up about Thames Water and what they do, as well as their history. Also although an engineering background isn't essential it doesn't hurt to do some research and understand the basics. Don't be put off applying because you think fitting in would be hard, Thames Water is a diverse company and as long as you have a can do attitude you are definitely a candidate.