1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a second year degree apprentice within Body Engineering. I am in the Seating AVA team and I work in my team to create reusable, flexible models for the department to be used across multiple vehicle lines. We have just finished our creator course, which means we have been given bigger projects to work on for new programmes. This involves meeting with design and quality to design new components.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In terms of academic qualifications, we are currently completing our foundation degree at Warwickshire college. The first year focused on materials and manufacturing, maths and CAD but the second year has been aimed more at project management and business skills. The first year also involved completing practical workshop modules which was finalised with a gateway assignment. In Body AVA, we have also completed all of our CAD and AVA creator training which was a 12 week course. The department also do many CSR events which has aided our personal skills and teamwork.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy working for Jaguar Land Rover. The opportunities that they have given us are incredible and I have developed as an engineer because of this. The work is engaging and I feel like a valued member of the company already and our work is already important and making an impact. The academic side has proven more disorganised than expected, but this is through no fault of JLR. Our department are also great at team building events and we have integrated well.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
I believe all of the apprentices within Body Engineering are incredibly valued. The department have given us many opportunities to be involved in different areas of the business and we have had taster events with other departments such as Perceived Quality and Bill of Design. I have also worked on three programmes which I wasn't expecting to do until after the apprenticeship was complete.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The academic side of the apprenticeship is not very well organised, but this is not through fault of Jaguar Land Rover. The issues have been raised and JLR are working with the college to amend this. However, the work side of the apprenticeship is very well structured and the next five years are already planned out meticulously for us.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Warwickshire College have not been the greatest in our second year of the apprenticeship. The first year was good, especially the workshops, and the assignments had more teaching for preparation - they were also part of a good assignment schedule. However, the second year has been very disorganised as we are only in one day a week. The assignments have been poor, and there was no schedule, which means they have all been handed in at once. There has also been a lack of communication and continuity which has caused a great amount of confusion amongst all apprentices.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Jaguar Land Rover give apprentices a lot of support - not just with work, but also with health and well being. We are always in the loop with what is going on in the business and our managers are always willing to talk to us about any issues we may be having. There are also behavioural reviews and 1-2-1s every 6 weeks .
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Every six months, depending on meeting targets, we get a rate for stage - which is a pay rise. I am able to pay my rent and any travel costs comfortably with money to spare for social costs. The starting salary is very good, and the rate for stages are a good incentive for apprentices to stay on track.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Jaguar Land Rover carry out many CSR events. One that we took part in last year was an event to build a sensory garden in Coventry. This took two days and was great for team building. I have also done other CSR events that involved going to my secondary school to do a presentation for apprenticeship recruitment. JLR also offer the Employee Learning Scheme, which grants us £200 a year to do anything from learning languages, rock climbing or plumbing. This helps us develop skills and experience things we have never done before.
9. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
I personally applied for the apprenticeship because I love cars, but I would recommend Jaguar Land Rover to anyone interested or considering engineering. They offer such a great scheme that combines learning with real work and the experiences gained from this are invaluable. You develop skills and learn so much about yourself and others which sets you up for a lifelong career. It is such an exciting industry and so much is changing.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
I think it is best for people to know about Jaguar Land Rover and what they are expecting of their apprentices. They want to see a willingness to learn, good leadership skills, communication and team working abilities. I think it is also important to be open minded when applying for the apprenticeship in terms of which department to work in because there are so many areas that you may not have considered to work in.