1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a finance and tax apprentice and I work on running daily reports on our financials and looking and the UK P&L and Balance Sheet. I work with my team in the UK daily and then talk to GFS in Dublin most weeks as they also work on the UK and the same sort of reports that I do. I then pick up ad hoc things to do for other colleagues here and there.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have had courses and tests that cogent have provided for me so I know about them and how the process works. I have also learnt a lot about how working in an office environment works such as holiday and expense forms and I have learnt all this from cogent and their training.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme a lot and I love working in a big company however I don't enjoy the fact that it is split into three parts of cogent Pfizer and my training provider bpp because they never seem to link and I end up chasing cogent not hearing back then chasing the training provider myself.
4. How valued do you feel by Cogent Skills?
I don't really feel that valued because I don't get to hear from them a lot. I don't really get any help along the way day to day I get a call every 3 months where we go through what ive been doing and how I am getting on but that is about it.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I don't think it is very well structured because cogent aren't around a lot so don't actually know what is going on. They catch up every three months and then leave you too it for another three months but never really get involved or help to answer any questions.. It is split into three parts but cogent are meant to keep it all structured but I don't believe they do.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I like the material and the lectures are good however the lectures just seem to read through the material provided. I like that they give you lots of questions but then if you have done all the questions and still need extra help they don't have anyone or anymore materials so you are left on your own really.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I don't get a lot of support because they are never really around as we don't get to see them much only once a month really when they come for our reviews. If we need any help we are meant to email but we don't get a response very quickly so we either have to chase it ourselves or wait for a long time.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is not great it just gets me by with having to pay a lot for petrol as I live quite far and then living expenses it is not a wage you could live on for a long time. I have seen similar apprenticeships to mine which offers a lot more and if I was to choose again I would go for one of those because they all provide the same training but pay more which may make it easier to live.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are not many opportunities with cogent outside of work because we don't really see them ever. The only one I was offered after over a ear of working for the company was half price gym membership but even when I tried to set this up there was an issue that cogent couldn't seem to fix.
9. Would you recommend Cogent Skills to a friend?
They are not very organised and you don't see them very much so apart from paying you and doing your expenses they don't do much you still have to chase everything yourself and when you don't understand something you either have to find out yourself or wait ages before you get a reply.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Cogent Skills?
Understand that cogent are the middle person who is employing you for another company and who will pay you and check up on you now and again. They will conduct an interview where you will need to show them your qualifications and bring all the paperwork with you so you look prepared and ready.
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