1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am involved with general laboratory work and I am assigned individual projects to complete by deadlines. I check my emails and follow up with and queries and instructions. I then work on an individual piece of work which may involve talking to others for help and guidance. Often I help others out with cleaning and preparation of their projects.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned: how to be independent with work, how to manage time, and some lab based skills on different types of equipment. The development has been hindered by large gaps in between training. This has at least helped me to be proactive and allowed me to ask for work and try to find signs that people might require help.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
It is rather varied month by month, sometimes I have plenty of work to do and other times I have nothing to do. I don't want to be doing nothing as I want to receive training and benefit my skill set. Other than that, the staff are nice and welcoming and they are patient with the training and with the assignments. Therefore more training would improve this.
4. How valued do you feel by 3M UK?
The people here are nice and welcoming and treat the apprentices the same and the recent employees. They appreciate the work being completed but they are also reasonable when you can't complete assignments due to obstacles. However I do feel slightly devalued when I don't receive training and am told to do the same task for 2 months with no mention of new training.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
New opportunities for work and training seem to appear randomly and I don't know what training I am expected to receive at points in time. At this point in time, I don't know what I am expected to achieve by the end of the academic year in terms of training. I haven't been able to do any of the apprentice projects as well, as I haven't been signed off on the correct training, even though I completed the training 4 months ago
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The time in college seems to be a lot of self study. We get told to do an assignment and are often left to complete it on our own. the teachers appear to have little time for support. However, they do provide feedback for resubmissions. I would prefer more lessons so I can learn more of the required information before starting the assignments.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Often if I ask for support they will give it. I do feel like the support they give is always positive and there are no issues with asking for it. They often provide a lot of this when it is needed, like with training which helps a lot. overall, they do make a reasonable effort to help me when needed.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Unfortunately my financial situation is not great and I have to commute by train from far away which adds to the problem. I cannot really blame the company for this though as they do provide a good wage for apprentices, although a bigger wage would help. they do also provide reimbursement to college, which is very reasonable. but the college is very far away and it takes me almost 2 hours to get there and I am not paid for this travel time.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
sorry I don't understand this question, what do you mean by opportunities. Do you mean opportunities for my career after the apprenticeship? or do you mean for getting extra money?
9. Would you recommend 3M UK to a friend?
The people are very friendly and understanding. They treat everyone equally and provide flex time which helps with maintaining a good work - leisure balance. They are not strict and they are relaxed when problems occur.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to 3M UK?
Be friendly and approachable and be yourself. They understand that you don't know everything.
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