Apprentice Service Technician at Volkswagen Group

Start Date:
2016
Location:
West Midlands
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Salary:
£1,041 monthly
Review Date:
April 2018

Connect with Volkswagen Group

Review Score

7 /10

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

7/10

A normal day when I am work based during this apprenticeship is spent in an Audi main dealer workshop. I am mentored by one Audi accredited Service Technician. I generally work closely alongside my mentor on one ramp, but when space allows I work on my own completing mostly basic jobs. When you are working on your own, you are expected to work at a decent pace and are treated like a technician- even though your pay does not reflect this. I am lucky that I get on well with a couple of people within my immediate area within the workshop- I imagine I would feel differently about the job if these people did not work around me.

Asked to run errands quite a lot during my first year, such as dropping customer off locally and picking/dropping off customers cars when the drivers were busy- but this is fair enough in my opinion.

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

9/10

Naturally, I have grown in confidence since I have been employed there and my manual dexterity has increased. I enjoy working on my own car at home and I feel quite confident to do so, which is satisfying.

You learn such a lot, so quickly in your first year that when you get into your second you can sometimes feel like you have stagnated as you do not have exposure to the jobs you need to progress further. This is frustrating but it is just the nature of the job, that the work you need to see is not always available to you. What you do learn is entirely dependent on how much effort your mentor is willing to put in with you, some people within my dealership do not want to train apprentices and there are very few people who do it well. However, regardless of weather the dealership can look after apprentices, they will keep on hiring and hiring them because they love cheap labour.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

8/10

The programme is good, the quality of the training centre is very good and you feel like you are part of a good programme when you are down there. There is a natural progression in the difficult of the content through the weeks and the trainer always make sure you are prepaired for any exams that you have. Support from my VLA has been really good- a nice guy who recognizes that I work hard and is willing to look after me and make sure my concerns are addressed because of this

4. How valued do you feel by Volkswagen Group?

6/10

People within my dealership seem to recognize that I work hard for them and are respectful towards me. I generally have no problems with the management at my dealership. They often do not show interest towards my progress with the apprenticeship programme and organizing anything to do with this seems a bit of an afterthought. If you are independent and are able to take charge of your development on your own, then you will do fine.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

8/10

The programme is good, the quality of the training centre is very good and you feel like you are part of a good programme when you are down there. There is a natural progression in the difficult of the content through the weeks and the trainer always make sure you are prepaired for any exams that you have. Support from my VLA has been really good- a nice guy who recognizes that I work hard and is willing to look after me and make sure my concerns are addressed because of this

Difficulty takes a bit of a step change going into the third year, so this is something you need to be prepared for.

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

8/10

Support from the training provider is adequate. There is certainly enough resources for you to look at to get through your exams with ease. Handouts, videos, past papers and other resources in class are nearly always good. The trainers seem to like what they do and this reflects in their delivery. Support from my VLA is good and he can always advise me on the vocational side of my qualification. Overall I am really happy with the level of support from the training providers.

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

6/10

People within my dealership seem to recognize that I work hard for them and are respectful towards me. I generally have no problems with the management at my dealership. They often do not show interest towards my progress with the apprenticeship programme and organizing anything to do with this seems a bit of an afterthought. If you are independent and are able to take charge of your development on your own, then you will do fine.

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

5/10

Having talked to other apprentices from other franchised dealers who pay significantly less, I realize that my dealer is not so bad in what it pays. However even on just over 1K a month, this is a struggle some months and even with my limited financial commitments this isn't really enough money. Often we are offered incentives to work more hours or small bonus schemes. but ultimately there seems to be a bit of a glass ceiling as to what you can be allowed to earn as an apprentice and indeed a fully qualified technician.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

6/10

This question is way to vague. Opportunities to do what.... go on a canoeing holiday for two weeks? In terms of opportunities to further your development as a technician- that is generally down to you to make the difference. Offer to stay late to help if a job runs over- you may learn something from this. I do jobs on my own car at weekends sometimes and this can be a good opportunity to learn. If you really want to get ahead of the game, buy yourself a cheap MOT fail car and practice stripping bits of it apart and putting it back together. This would be a very useful way to learn. It would be good if more optional courses were available to attend at our training centre- if these were available, I am sure there would be a good intake.

9. Would you recommend Volkswagen Group to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

If you are the right sort of person. If you put the work in, do not make it hard for your trainer or VLA and you gain the respect of people working around you within your dealership then this may be a good apprenticeship for you be on. It is a shame that the motor trade in general, does not seem to attract the quality in terms of people it should do.

The framework itself is satisfying to complete and you do learn as you go along. It has certainly changed me- when I started the scheme, I would not have said I was remotely practical. This has now changed with starting this volkswagen group apprenticeship.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Volkswagen Group?

Make sure you approach the apprenticeship with the right attitude and are prepared to commit to it fully. If you put the work in, do not make it hard for your trainer or VLA and you gain the respect of people working around you within your dealership then this may be a good apprenticeship for you be on. It is a shame that the motor trade in general, does not seem to attract the quality in terms of people it should do.

Keep on top of your work- do it as soon as you get it. If you start in that way, you should still be ahead of the curve when the going gets a bit tougher in year 3. That will give you more time to focus and absorb the more complex material.

Make sure you stay relatively cozy with the management as they can make your life both easy and hard.

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