Degree Apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover

Start Date:
West Midlands
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£25,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

Connect with Jaguar Land Rover

Review Score

5.7 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I am a degree apprentice based in research. I get to work with a variety of people and complete a variety of tasks. I do a lot of data work, e.g. data sourcing, logging & compiling into information we can use. I have worked on batteries & autonomous cars; everything in research is at the forefront and all about innovation. I am held to the same standard of work as everyone else in the department, treated with the same amount of respect and given the same responsibilities.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have nearly completed my foundation degree in engineering. I have completed foundation competencies at level 2 (workshop units, practical skills). In work I have completed many mandatory courses and have improved many PC skills, such as how to google effectively, how to research, excel skills as well as specialised programs such as MATLAB & Simulink. I have developed my communication skills dramatically and have got over my fear of phone calls.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy the work I do each day a lot. I wouldn’t pick a different path to get to where I wanted, I am really glad I chose to do an apprenticeship instead of going to university. I am still getting my degree, so there is plenty of hard work and time management is crucial. The education provider for the foundation degree needs serious improvement, however the university which provides the degree is far better. Staying motivated throughout the foundation degree is an issue.

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4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?


The company makes me feel valued as an employee by treating me the same as they would anyone else. I am given the same roles and responsibilities as any other employee. My age nor gender has never been an issue within the company and I have never felt disadvantaged. In my department I am working on real projects where the quality of my work has a real impact on the project overall, I am trusted to have ‘real’ work, not just training projects. I have received emails of thanks, been interviewed by news companies about myself & projects and have been put forward for apprentice of the year (runner up in the end). My manager highlights the good things and characteristics we have/ done.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


There is improvements that could be made to the programme. The college changes their timetable each year and regularly set the wrong units to groups of people, the entire class gets the wrong list of modules and are told too late in the year to fix it. The tutors leave/ join mid year and have minimum understanding of the content of the course, let alone the structure and have no teaching experience. The college feels like a disorganised mess where no one knows what is going on. There is no timetable of assignments and as such there is no work for the first half of the year and then multiple assignments to complete towards the end. The staff higher up seem to have no power in resolving the issues and are too busy to fix them. Many key skills needed for work are not taught. Emotional support is not offered. There is no consistency.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


The training provider offers no support. If you raise an issue with them they nod and say they will look into it, which they will only pretend to do. If you raise an issue with another student they will speak to them but make it clear who raised the issue, making it worse. They have no consistency in discipline. They do not follow their own guidelines. The students have to teach themselves all the content, the lectures do not understand what they are teaching. Emotional support is non-existent. They say yes to everyone rather than having a backbone and saying no when they can't do something. They listen to a couple of people, who shout the loudest and implement "solutions" to their problems rather than seeing if the rest of the students agree with these being issues in the first place.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


The employer offers more support, but mostly only when it is work related. If I raise an issue with my manager he has normally already noticed this issue and started to deal with it. The comments with issues raised have been that I should have come forward sooner and to speak up next time sooner. I have had no need to contact HR yet regarding any issue. Issues relating to the training provider have not been dealt with yet, although the issues raised have been the same for years, from each new year of apprentices.

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary can not really be complained about. It is more than the minimum wage for our age and more than the national living wage. However, we are expected to do extra hours than stated due to this. The full amount of study time required is not acknowledged. Many of us are doing the same job as anyone else in our department yet are paid half the amount. There is a fair number of discounts available if you ask (e.g. restaurants and spa’s in the local area). The rate of stage is a good package and reflects an increase in salary as your skills matrix increases. The social events organised by other employees are often more expensive than expected. The location is an expensive area (due to the company employing so many people in the area).

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


CSR (community social responsibility) events happen regularly and employees are entitled to complete 16 hours a year of CSR events. There is many different societies around the company but finding out about them can be difficult. If you want to start one and get in contact with various people it is fairly easy. The location has a huge amount going on, there is local football, ice hockey & rugby teams. It is a good area for bars.

9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?


9b. Why?

Jaguar Land Rover is a great company to work for as everyone is friendly and they are proactive about change. I really enjoy the work I do and would not pick another route to get my degree. Their issues are the same that any large company faces. I feel valued working here and respected. In my personal experience, they are one of the best companies about giving equal opportunities.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?

Be yourself throughout the interview. While you are in school/ 6th form complete as much work experience as you can (it is far easier to access at that age). Make sure to complete work experience in a field(s) you think you are interested in as well as ones you think you wouldn't want to do. Make sure to pick a path you will enjoy and not be lead by money. Read up on the company you are applying to and know their history and ideals.

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