1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Control Systems Apprentice, Currently at college full time attaining a HNC and NVQ level 2. 4 days are spent in the workshop whilst one is spent in the classroom for the HNC. Daily tasks include fitting, electrical maintenance, wiring and testing electrical systems etc. There is quite alot of time spent doing work for assignments which is okay, however the workload should be more, I feel.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I feel I have developed skills in certain practical areas that I didn't necessarily have before. There are lots of training courses we have to complete for health and safety etc, these are beneficial to my performance within the workplace. We have learned about digitalisation in industry and other relevant industrial movements.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
There are a few us on in the same position, and I feel we have a strong team. We work together well in groups but also individually. The culture at the college could be a bit better as we are in higher education and mixed classes with less achieving individuals with lesser priorities, basically they dont want to learn. When in the workplace its diffferent as we are given tasks to do, however sometimes at college we can be waiting around for new tasks quite often.
4. How valued do you feel by Amazon?
I feel like we get treated very well by Amazon, our direct line manager is extremely helpful and will always reply to any queries instantly. Shortly after beginning the course we were taken to Wales for an outdoor activity team building week, this was good and showed that Amazon really have put a lot of effort into the training programme. During the first year there isnt much of a chance to get into the workplace, however during the short times spent in the workplace there has been good communication from staff there.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The course started off well, there was a lot of push from the lecturers and workshop supervisors to get things done and the classes were driven towards completing them. After a while the pace of work slowed down and the students started to feel like the course structure was poor and communication between the college and the lecturers was very bad. The college had a number of staff members either retiring or leaving and its taken them upwards of 6 weeks to sort these issues out. These issues are completely at the responsibility of the college and not the training provider (Siemens) or the employer (Amazon). Having previously attended colleges for higher education I can say that Trafford College is very unorganised and unfortunately not a college I wish to attend in the future.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
There is always support available from the training provider, we have been given personal laptops to assist in the completion of college work. Any issues we have with the course or issues regarding employment are dealt with in a constructive manner. The training provider seems very focused on ensuring that we get the best education possible and issues regarding this are ironed out quickly.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We receive monthly communication from our line manager, any issues we have with any aspect of the course is resolved almost instantly. If there are issues, we can communicate with our manager and get them sorted out. All expenses are covered when it comes to the tuition fees or any travel expenses. Any holiday requests are dealt with in a fair manner. My interpretation is that the Employer will always help an employee when required.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary/package is very good for the job. All living expenses including rent, bills, food money, travel and transport expenses, any college equipment including notebooks, calculators etc all covered. We were given laptops to assist in completing college work which is very handy. On top of all this we also receive a salary and a yearly bonus and staff discount. Very well paid job especially for a first year apprentice.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There have been many opportunities outwith work to attend conferences and give information on the apprenticeship and information about the company. Some of the apprentices have attended these events and say they enjoyed them. There are company activities which take place on a seasonal basis which I have been invited to, this is good considering we are in college full time and never actually in the workplace.
9. Would you recommend Amazon to a friend?
I would recommend Amazon to my peers, I have done already as the training course and progression opportunities within the company are very good. The type of work we do at amazon is applicable at any of the sites and a relocation to the other side of the world would not be that difficult. The company has good values and they are shown with the attitude of the staff and most people within the company seem to be happy.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Amazon?
Get the application in early, be honest on the application and study for the pre entry tests. These are commonly used aptitude test which include the likes of numerical reasoning and spacial awareness etc. Be confident in the interview and ensure that you research the company and its values. Allow time for the process to work its course and good luck!
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