1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a mechanical Engineering Apprentice, I am currently on a 3 month placement in a training environment in order to gain knowledge and qualifications this involves taught lessons and completing nvq evidence and exams in order to show competency and gain qualifications in order to aid my future employment in my career.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot of new skills whilst on the apprenticeship whilst also developing a lot of existing skills in order to develop myself overall. Some of these include milling and turning on the mills and lathes in order or to produce components from technical drawings with tight tolerances/limits and fits. I have also developed my social skills whilst on the apprenticeship and feel more able to talk to others confidently. , business skills
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme very much i feel any new work I get involved with interesting and another opportunity to develop myself as an engineer and an employee. I enjoy the practical side of working and being able to manufacture components which may be a real use to someone and make a real difference to the end user. I am excited to find out more of the work that happens here.
4. How valued do you feel by DSTL?
is made clear that apprentices could be the next generation of D S T L, I feel like when I am able to make more contribution to the organisation I will feel even more valued which will make me more motivated to work and contribute more and more as I develop as a mechanical engineer through learning and working
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I do not feel the apprenticeship is overly structured which allows me to set my own personal goals and strive for myself which I feel is a much more rewarding process as I know where I want to be and how much work I need to put in in order to reach my goals. There is more structure in the training environment due to lessons and sessions etc so there is a good balance between the two and this works best for me and my learning.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
On my apprenticeship with D S T L I feel there is a greater support network from with D S T L rather than the training provider, when in the training environment there is a lot of support because they are there with you and you can ask them any questions when you and them are there but feel this support is lost when out in the business so I tend to do research in my free time on any topics I am unsure of and use the experience and knowledge of apprentice mentors to develop my learning.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Due to the nature of the placements in D S T L I receive a lot of support from the apprenticeship team when on placement If you reach our for it I feel this is good when out in the business in order to aid the process because for some apprentices, D S T L is their first time of employment and they have a lot to learn. Apprentice mentors also help with this and it helps me to develop as an employee and engineer at the same time.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Due to still being able to live at home I feel the wage I earn meets my living costs due to being able to pay lower rent costs to my parents, the pay my intake year earns is lower than other year groups on apprenticeship which I feel is unfair as we are on the same course. Although I feel the money I earn is very good for an apprentice at my stage of my career and it works for my daily and social life at this current time.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of things to get involved with outside D S T L due to there being a large amount of things to help aid the advertisement of our apprenticeship and S T E M careers in general, this includes training as S T E M ambassador and also school outreach, as well as careers shows and open evenings at stem events. i have tried to get involved in as many of these as possible in order to develop myself and help others get into dstl and engineering/stem
9. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend?
I really enjoy how diverse D S T L is and the large amount of opportunities it creates for apprentices which can send your career in a completely different direction should you want to. it is the type of work you are not going to get anywhere else and is interesting and intriguing as each day you may be doing a completely different type of work. it has a friendly environment and apprentices from many different backgrounds
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL?
Do some research into D S T L and I'm sure you will be intrigued as to what they do and the type of work them get involved with. Make sure you have a willingness to learn new things and always be on the look out for opportunities which may not have a large involvement with mechanical engineering but will aid you to develop as a D S T L employee.
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