1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an electrical engineering apprentice. my role is split into two blocks of 18 months, one block at the training provider, and another within the business on placement, I have completed 15 months with the training provider and 3 on placement. at the training provider, I have learned electrical theory, and hand skills, whilst on placement I have done a variety of work within the business.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned a lot of new electrical based knowledge whilst at the training provider. through this I have gained new qualifications in analogue and digital theory. training courses have been provided by the company in a verity of things that I have benefitted from. when on placement I have developed existing, and learned new practical skills I can apply to my job.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working in the teams I have been placed with and also enjoyed learning new things. The company treats you well and you are well supported in your efforts.
4. How valued do you feel by DSTL?
I feel appreciated by my managers when I volunteer to help at STEM events and receive tanks when helping out. I am always thanked when completing a project when asked to do so by a member of a team. if I am unable to help in a project, it is always explained to me so I can understand what is happening.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The training provider's organisation could be described as lacking, there is quite a lot of waiting around involved when working there. our mangers went to great efforts to find placements within the business in a small time frame which is greatly appreciated. the tasks are well planned out and given to you in a structured way.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
tutors are easy to contact if needed and one to one guidance can be secured if needed. a safeguarding team are in place if you need support for other issues. they are always happy to help with problems if you ask for it.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
if you need help or support from your managers or members of your team, they will always be willing to give it or provide you with information with the best person to speak to if they cannot help. the HR team are helpful and work hard to sort any issues you may have. They are always happy to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am getting by well on my salary at the moment, I manage to save around 20% every month, although living 20 miles away, fuel costs can be high. I do not spend much in the day as bring my own lunch and snacks. I also pay very little rent which helps, but if I had to pay much more it would be hard to save for a house. some people on the apprenticeship will find this.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are opportunities to do things with work people outside of work in the form of the STEPs group at Dstl, and the Cortex group at the training provider. I have registered as a STEM ambassador and will be helping at STEM events at schools and exhibition centres. there are lots of things to do around the area alone or with friends.
9. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend?
They are a flexible company to work for with very interesting work, they also give you the support when needed and you will see and do a lot of things you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL?
Don't be intimidated by the interview process and aptitude testing, put together a portfolio of engineering related projects you have taken part with and any hobbies you enjoy to show your work ethic and base skills.
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