1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Each day on the apprenticeship with dstl I feel included as an employee in the business, I am able to chase many different opportunities within the business and get to see many of the different teams, this gives me the opportunities to apply myself in many different areas so I can work out what area of the company I would like to direct my career towards. I thoroughly enjoy my apprenticeship and feel like a valued individual. work is constantly interesting and I will often get to experience different roles so I don't feel restricted by my work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed many new skills, both through training and learning on the training job, I have completed extra internal training courses such as an explosives training course which allows me to develop new skills and gain new qualifications outside the apprenticeships training program, I have boosted my personal confidence massively on the apprenticeship and honestly feel I have developed as a person.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
During time on placement working with dstl I really enjoy work and look forward to the next day, I feel I am always included and the team values my input, the time with dstl has exceeded my expectations and I have enjoyed it massively. I really enjoy work and look forward to all the opportunities I can follow in the future and where I will eventually end up taking my career to.
4. How valued do you feel by DSTL?
as an apprentice I feel very valued, you get treated like an adult and are able to experience things like a full time employee as long as you show your competency, you get to get stuck in to work and don't have to feel like you are causing an issue and feel more like you are really helping on the project, you also get allot of recognition for the work if you achieve goals and show an attitude for the work, this is nice as it makes it feel worthwhile and that the apprenticeship was the correct route.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
at the QinetiQ training school training and studying was slow and laborious with allot of presentations and downtime but there was some well organised visits and workshop time is planned well, the training centre has gone downhill lately as allot of staff have left and leading into placement at dstl it took a while to get the ball rolling so there has been a fair few slower days that seem to take longer than necessary, but once the placement starts it falls into place more as the organisation falls to you, we also have regular meetings with our mentors and team leaders to ensure that we are happy with work and to offer support if its needed.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider offered a fair amount of support during time whilst we were attending, but once you are out on placement with the business you are basically disconnected and have no clue to what is happening at the training provider. whilst there many of the staff will happily answer questions for you and offer support but this is harder when off site.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
my employer offers a fair amount of support both whilst at the training provider and whilst within the business, they offer support for both work and if you have issues at home and there are many ways to reach this support, we have regular meetings with the managers and we stay in the circle so we know what s going on.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
the salary isn't great as a person living away from home as it only just covers my living cost so I have no expendable income, this is frustrating as I would like to be able to save money to move on and also be able to do things outside of work but I don't have the funds, it is also frustrating that the first year apprentices salaries and the new starters for September are getting a higher wage.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
dstl has many opportunities within the company that you can follow and there are many clubs and groups you can join which follow, such as motorsport clubs and fitness groups such as cycling clubs, work also has a gym which is of a fair size that you can use, the also hold an annual Christmas meal which is at a reduced rate.
9a. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I have enjoyed work with the company and if you can put up with the slow days at the training centre then you will thoroughly enjoy yourself, it has been an amazing opportunity that I am glad that I followed.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL? *
don't hesitate because of the secrecy the work is extremely enjoyable and you will find many new area to venture into, the pathways that you can go down once in the business is limitless so you can never go wrong with chasing it and choosing dstl as your career path for the future. the interviews are not as bad as you think and the pre interview tests are common sense and do not require engineering knowhow.
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