1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am training to be a quality engineering technician through the means of an advanced apprenticeship at BMW plant Hams Hall. It is a 4 year apprenticeship which consists of one full year at college, and day release for the following years. During the time at the plant, placements are created so that each apprentice can experience working in different departments specific to their role.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In the first year, i learnt a lot of skills regarding the practical aspects of engineering which are backed up by the theory learnt from the btec. However this year more skills have been developed in the workplace. For example, communication is key in the working environment as everyday you are faced with different scenarios that require talking to new people.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme as there is the opportunity to learn and be employed at the same time. The combination of learning and working at the same time allows the development process to be quickened and makes the learning more efficient. The people who also work at Hams Hall are also really supportive and happy to assist apprentices at all times.
4. How valued do you feel by BMW Group?
BMW are a worldwide company and so employ a lot of workers. However despite its size, i feel that apprentices are welcomed in to the business as they often work towards those higher positions. The company also wants to support apprentices throughout their career so that they are capable of achieving these roles too.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The actual structure of the programme is well organised. However the college that we attend is not so well organised, so on a few occasions our development has been halted due to the college not being proactive. In terms of my placements, i was given a full plan of remaining time after i came back to the company after my first year so i knew exactly what i was doing.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
i have received a good amount of support from the college. For instance, the lecturers are always happy to give advice and guidance if you are struggling as sometimes the work isn't that simple. This is especially true when assignment questions are given and the requirements of the questions aren't that clear.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As the employer, BMW are very supportive as they want to see apprentices progress through the company. If you have any questions or are struggling with something, then there are always people on hand to help you even if they aren't in the apprentice department. So support is always available on site.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my outgoing costs very well. The money allows me to save for a house, pay for a company car and still allows me to have a good amount of disposal income for social activities. Also the pay increases every 6 months in correspondence with your performance and behavior, and so it always increases.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company does offer some events outside of working time where everybody has the chance to get involved. For instance, events for charity are often advertised and the follow ups are always publicized. However even if more events were advertised at work, i doubt i would take part in many as i can do things like this in my own time.
9a. Would you recommend BMW Group to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
BMW are an extremely good company to work for and so your learning is maximized. BMW have some of the best manufacturing processes and machinery on offer, therefore you will learn that the industry is very dynamic and so you can move with the technology. Also with a reputable company comes many benefits like a car scheme, discounts and regular pay rises so they are also a bonus.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BMW Group? *
If you want to apply to BMW then i would suggest that you try and get some experience of being in a work environment, in particular an engineering environment. So that you can relate what you learnt from there in to your potential job role. Also i would suggest that you practice the psychometric tests that will be given to you as part of the application process. Good luck.
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