1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as an engineering apprentice at Heathrow Airport involves joing a new team every 4 months as i rotate around 9 of the 14 different departments at Heathrow. These departments range from Electronics engineering and Terminal engineering to Water Services and Airside Engineering. A wide range of engineering skills are learnt during the one day a week college day and are put to the test during the working days.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Many skills are developed during an engineering apprenticeship. First your organisation skills are developed in college for the first year, where you learn your engineering skills at level 2 through to level 4 HNC in the fourth year. Multiple job specific external courses through Heathrow include airfield lighting qualifications, confined space courses and F-Gas qualifications.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My programme was a great experience, my company is a great workplace for developing skills and promoting personal growth. The teams i worked with over the years have all helped my with my portfolio and helped teach me the skills to do my job competently and to a high standard
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I had a good support structure and a great team of staff there to help and guide me through the course. The course has been successful for over 40 years old so it is well structured and proven to be effective in providing the opportunity to have a good start to a career in engineering.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We are assigned a manager to help guide us through the course. Monthly meetings with the management team and often the senior team in engineering to keep us up to date with what is happening with the company and the apprentices. any help required we have assessors on most rotations and many ex apprentices on each team to help is through the course.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The tutors at college are in charge of many more apprentices that my managers so they have a lot more on their hands but they still provide additional support where required. The college has a good framework in place for helping students if they require more help or require a greater understanding of the topic.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The basic understanding of engineering taught to me in college helped me in my workplace by giving me a good grasp of the basics and helping me use my knowledge of engineering to logically work out faults. I put into practice many of the basic skills learnt at college, and the more advanced skills allow me to be competent in the more advanced work.
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 many company events that are an opportunity to teach young students the benefits of learning in the STEM environment. I also spent a lot of time at career evenings and conventions to promote job opportunities to the community around Heathrow. There are also some opportunities for social events, especially around Christmas
9a. Would you recommend Heathrow Academy to a friend?
Good job opportunities, good work life balance and great pay are three reasons I would recommend Heathrow Airport. The four year course is a great set up for a career in engineering, four years experience and up to a level 4 qualification during the apprenticeship are great for a CV. If you decide to leave after your apprenticeship.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Heathrow Academy?
Be keen, show interest, research the position and have evidence of having taken steps to make progress towards a career in engineering. No matter how small the step, work experience, practical hobbies, or previous qualifications are all a great start. Above all, be good with a team and with responsibility.
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