1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My general role is part of a Sewerage Design team, which involves assessing planning and designing improvements to the sewer network in the North East region of Severn Trent (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire).
My daily tasks vary from conducting site visits, analysing sewer performance through data or building and running hydraulic simulations on the network. This is mostly office based however this is always opportunity to visit construction projects to build up my experience.
Day to day I am involved with various people both internally and external from severn trent whether it be suppliers and contractors to operations and maintenance teams. The job gives you plenty of opportunity to meet new people and learn from a wide variety of perspectives.
Your responsibilities are limited at the beginning of the apprenticeship, you are expected to complete small batches of technical work for other senior members of the team to build up you competency and knowledge. However the business is keen to drive their apprentices to become responsible professionals and moving forward into your apprenticeship you get ownership over your own projects and are expected to deliver pieces of work to meet your teams outputs.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I attend College one day a week during term time, in my first year of college was spent at City of Wolverhampton College studying a level 3 BTEC in construction. Following on from this in my second year I have started my HNC in construction, the course is informative and interesting however it is not entirely relevant to my job role as it focuses a lot on domestic home construction rather than civil engineering.
In my role I am provided with a lot of in-house training relating to both my work as well as business and health and safety training to develop my competency as an engineer.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my programme as the responsibility you are given and training challenge you enough to develop within your role. Furthermore, their is plenty of support provided within the company by both your line manager and HR helps support your development. Outside of your role you are also given opportunities for volunteering which is a good experience to gain.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is reasonably organised it is provided by an external company, EEF. they organise the Civil Engineering programme alongside City of Wolverhampton College and the NVQ is a Level 4 CABWI water utilities qualification. The programme is organised well and you are given a clear understanding of what the future of your work looks like for the next 2-3 years however post apprenticeship/HNC there is a lack of clarity as to what happens then
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer provides good support for me both through my line manager and HR. There is a good deal of induction training for you when you start which helps and once you first meet your teams you're often assigned a mentor to guide you when you start the job.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
You are provided with one day a week to attend college which is helpful for learning on the course. However there is no dedicated time allocated within your working week to complete assignments or NVQ portfolio which can often lead to apprentices having to do this in their own time or, come in early and stay late around there working hours.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The first part of the qualification was the Level 3 Sub-Diploma, which although a good introduction to Construction, is very similar to the Level 4 HNC and it may be best starting all apprentices at Level 4 rather than level 3. The qualification content has helped me in my role as it provides you knowledge on site investigations as well as construction legalities such as planning and CDM all of which are relevant to you role.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are opportunities for volunteering and charity events which are well supported within Severn Trent and help to support your development. Further to this there are also plenty of professional networking events that are supported such as Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE) and Chartered Institute of Water and Environment management (CIWEM).
9a. Would you recommend Severn Trent to a friend?
The increasing salary and company benefits are generally unmatched in most other jobs in the same sector. In addition, the company ethos really supports apprentice development. The course is a good qualification to have and the NVQ focuses you on your professional side of work and highlights areas to consider for your own professional development.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Severn Trent?
My advice for those applying to Severn Trent would be to adopt a motivated and can do attitude. Most of the time the work may be beyond your knowledge and understanding however if you show drive and motivation to work towards it then they will appreciate your own motivation to your own professional development as opposed to waiting to be told what to do by others and showing a lack of drive to develop.
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