Exhaust Systems Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

Start Date:
2016
Location:
West Midlands
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
Salary:
£20,834 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

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Review Score

7.4 /10

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

9/10

Now that I am in my second year, we have 1 day at college and 4 days based at work. In the college day we are taught subjects such as maths, automotive designs, electrical design, materials and manufacture. At work I act a project manager for an exhaust commodity. This involves meetings with our supplier, meetings with managers and meetings with other departments within the company. I am responsible for arranging prototype parts for testing and builds, releasing drawings for the parts, and doing the relevant admin work for the commodity. The college days can get a bit boring and the level of teaching is fairly poor, but my real job is so excellent it makes up for it.

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

8/10

At college last year I learnt a large amount of new practical skills (welding, milling, engine building etc) but this year has been a lot more desk based. My learning has now come from work training courses. I am now yellowbelt six sigma trained and certified (problem solving), have completed training on our internal part and drawing release systems, as well as courses on geometric dimensioining and tolerancing and specific exhaust design features.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I now really enjoy the programme, as my job is excellent. Admittedly college is a necessary evil I just wish to get over and done with, but the majority of apprentices are like minded so it means we still get to see each other regularly. My department is very helpful and friendly, and I have been assigned a mentor who ensures I always have training lined up and checks my progress.

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

8/10

I feel valued by my company, mainly because the attention and responsibility given to me by my department. I am trusted and responsible for an exhaust programme, and am a useful asset to other programmes when people are on holiday. The pay is good which also reflects they value us, and the company has a good human resource department if we do need assistance.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

4/10

The structure of the programme is not idea. As I left sixth from with 4 very strong a-levels, the college academic side is repetitive and can be extremely boring and mind numbing. It is often chaos and there is always some confusion with assignments and planning. The college part before University should be a year at max, and should keep focus on the practical skills I have not done before. The apprenticeship could include a masters degree, or would only need to be 5 years long not 6.

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

4/10

Support systems are there, but are very ineffective. The college is not particularly responsive to complaints, and makes a large deal out of them listening before not actioning them or actioning the wrong things. We often have to get JLR involved to resolve issues. The training provider has a good network of child protection and health services being part of a college, but I have not tested them.

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

9/10

We have very regular reviews with a intermediary manager between my work manager and the college. They do seem too regular. My mentor is excellent and holds a review with me every week. This checks my work progress, college progress and any other issues I have. He also made sure I was integrated into the work socials. There are also Human resources and occupational health who can assist with any support required.

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

10/10

The salary is an excellent part of this apprenticeship. It is livable to start with a regular increase if performance and academic targets are met. It now gives me an opportunity toward saving for a house. I have no student debt, and I am already building a strong pension, and have a secure job. There is nothing to complain about in this category.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

5/10

There are not that many official external activities which surprised me, however there are plenty of informal groups. I regularly go out with a cycle with people met through the company, as well as a monthly curry night. There are department socials, as well as apprenticeship socials. There are google groups for certain interests, but very few, if any, are officially supported by JLR. It would be nice to see more JLR supported activities, such as a cycling club, a football team or maybe even a band.

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

Yes

9b. Why?

If you want to do automotive engineering this is a no-brainer. You get your foot in the door with a job, are paid well and receive a university degree with no debt. For people less passionate about automotive engineering I would suggest they explore other options first, as you need to enjoy your job to put up with some of the lesser parts of the course.

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

When applying show you are passionate about this career, and show you can think for yourself and are responsible. Opportunities arise to those who work hard and push for them, and make a good impression early on by going above and beyond will be favorable to you in the future. Be yourself though, as people who came here just for the money who are not interested in engineering have tended to quit the programme.

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