1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Currently in year 2 of the Aprenticeship, this involves day release from IPS college on Mondays. The other days involve working closely with the qualified Service Engineers on depot learning all aspects of the job role. The job role involves both light and heavy train maintenance as well as fault diagnosis and analysis.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When starting my apprenticeship i already had the skill set of working with tools, due to past job roles. However, during my time at college and on depot i have developed a wider understanding of the electrical side of things. This includes electrical fault finding and how electrical system work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The Apprenticeship program that i am on is highly enjoyable. With the first year being full time college, this gives you the ability to learn the basics and then develop your skills further in the following years of the apprenticeship when you get onto depot. The four on - four off shift pattern is also very appealing.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I believe the apprenticeship programme itself could be structured in a more organised way. When on depot sometimes you can be forgotten about and pushed to the side. For this reason, it is important to be very self motivated and show that you are eager to learn. I believe a structured training matrix would improve the programme hugely.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Over time on the apprenticeship you get a feel for the individuals and employees who are willing to support and help develop you as an apprenticeship. Support from higher up can be received fairly promptly however it helps massively to find Service Engineers (who you work with on depot) who are willing to give you that extra help and support. Again, self motivation goes a long way in showing you are willing to learn.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The Tutors at IPS are generally very helpful and supportive during all aspects of the qualification (NVQ and BTEC). As long as you show an interest and willing to learn, you will get the support you need to achieve the end qualification. All IPS Tutors are quick to answer emails and queries that you may have.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
When starting my apprenticeship i had no experience with electrics and electronics. Through IPS college, we got to learn the basics of working safely with electrics (which is an important part of my end job role). If you have had no experience working with tools, then again, at IPS you will learn the majority of the basics that you need to be able to safely develop the skills at 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.)
At Southeastern we have many extra-curricular activities that are open to all employees from all departments. We recieve weekly emailed newsletters that provide information for upcoming events and activities. The most recent activities include, employee choir, charity events around the Southeastern stations and Depot Open-Days for members of the public
9a. Would you recommend Southeastern Railway to a friend?
The vast majority of employees asked this question would answer yes. This is because your working days can vary so much from shift to shift. Everyday there is a possibility you will learn something new. As well as this, the salary is very competitive and the shift pattern (four on-four off) is usually very appealing to people.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Southeastern Railway?
Anyone looking at applying for a Service Engineer apprenticeship role at Southeastern should be an incredibly self motivated individual. You must be a fast learner and have the abilility to digest large amounts of information. You also will need to be motivated enough to be able to complete college work on days off. Finally, It will aid you in the Application process to have an understanding of working with tools and have strong mathematical skills.