1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Apprentice technician - day to day includes doing the morning chores (emptying oil drainers, filling up ad blue etc) meeting and greeting customers from 8-9am. Enjoy this part as it is an opportunity to meet customers and get feedback on how they find audi as a brand, and adds to the customer satisfaction. Have been involved in some big projects, engine replacement on an audi RS6 due to damaged valve spring, transmision rebuilds, general day to day servicing, diagnosing electrical faults, carrying out repairs to wiring if damaged. I have been given many oportunities at my work place, and any oportunity that arises to get involved in a big job, I take it.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Before coming to the Audi apprenticeship program, I was working at an independant garage and completed my IMI level 2 apprenticeship at an external college. The main reason I left and came to the brand was due to the amount of resources and level of training available at the National Learning Center. The training courses here at very informative and can always take somthing away and relate it to a job in the work place. The trainers at the NLC have a lot of knowledge, and any difficulties, they will take time out of their day to sit down with you and help with whatever you're struggling with, inside or outside of work. Through the programme, I have become more confident with electrical diagnosis, transmission faults and diagnosis, how to interact with custors. Looking back from where i started to where i am now, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience, and at the end of the programme will become an Audi Qualified service technician.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The team at work are like a family, and will always help in any ways possible, inside or outsdie of work hours. Everyone is treated with respect and work is an amazing place to be. This is possibly one of the first jobs that i've had where going into work is a pleasure rather than a chore. The experience has gone above my initial expectations when joining. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to get into the vehicle repair industry.
4. How valued do you feel by Volkswagen Group?
At work, nothing goes unoticed and everything is appreciated by my workshop manager. He understands the amount of work we put into the job, and will support us in anything we do. Internally, at the dealership, appreciation is showed in different ways than just praises, such as winning the Q power award two years running, and using the money to treat everyone at work on nights out as a team. My mentor at work appreciates the work I do, and is more than satisfied with the quality of work. Due to this, he is confident that he can asign me any task in the workshop and it'll get done to a good quality.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure is good, the content covered during the week is then assessed on the friday. There are plenty of spaces and laptops you are able to use for studying. On a thursday there is a meeting where apprentices have the chance to suggest changes to the ways training is provided. For example we requested more laptops were available for training, and the next time I was up for my week block, there were plenty of laptops available. The week blocks are organised and content is covered in depth.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
From my tutor, I recieved a lot of support and it was nice to know that even when i'm not at on a training course, all i had to do was ring him or email him should i need any help or have any questions to ask and he would assist in any ways he could. I have enjoyed training with the VW Audi group and look foward to the future at the NLC.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My workshop manager has been amazing through my apprenticeship program. My first week at Audi, he made me feel welcome and said he will help me through the apprenticeship and provide me with opportunities to progress myself as a technician, and he has delivered on that promise from day one. Before joining Audi, i wouldn't have even considered undertaking a job as big as a transmission rebuild, but with the guidence of my mentor, we compelted the job as a team and the level of satisfaction when completing the job was somthing that money can't buy. I have come across many obstacles when diagnosing faults, and every time, my mentor has been there to guide me through it step by step, and help me understand why these steps are taken.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my living costs, any travel costs are paid for when going on training courses and there has yet to be a time where I was struggling to go somewhere due to lack of money. If I do want to increase my salary, I have the option to do overtime. I am being paid whilst recieving an education and learning a trade, most people have to pay for the information and skills we learn - This is an amazing opportunity.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there have been many oportunities. Last year with the apprenticeship program, we went up to the lake district and developed our team building skills. This was an experience that I will remember for many years to come. We went mountain climbing, raft building, caving, which was a fear i had to overcome and with the help of the team i was with, they supported me and no man was left behind. Outside of work, after work people get together and go out for a drink, or play football and socialise, as during the working day, we can get very busy and this makes it difficult to interact with other people in the work place. When i wasn't working, I was always interested in cars and would often spend time researching on how they work and how they are built, understanding the entire process from start to finish the create a car. I often go wakeboarding on different lakes around the UK with friends and after work participate in mixed martial arts classes.
9. Would you recommend Volkswagen Group to a friend?
The quality of training provided and resources available, I havn't seen at any other dealerships when initially looking to apply for an apprenticeship in a dealership. The product and brand are prestige and the quality of work carried out is a reflection of this. I have already recommended several friends to the brand, and they have joined the program, and enjoyed every part of it.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Volkswagen Group?
I would advise visiting other apprenticeship providers before applying so they have a comparisson of the standard of training available, and when joining the Audi apprenticeship program, they won't take for granted how much help and support is available. I am fortunate in some ways to have trained at a different location before coming to audi, as every single step since joined audi has been appreciated and nothing has been taken for granted. The application process is easy and there is plenty of information available on what the apprenticeship program will deliver. There are even videos of other apprentices talking through their experience at the NLC. The assessments can be difficult, but the content you will be assessed on will all be covered in detail prior to assessments so you can walk into the assessment confidently.
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