Mechanical Engineering Apprentice at DSTL

Start Date:
South West
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Review Date:
February 2019

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


On a day to day basis i can have a great variation of tasks, i work with rapid prototyping and manufacturing starting from the basics of drawing the CAD model and taking the product through the full process, this is because my work is very bespoke resulting in a vast amount of variation.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have developed a multitude of skills since i have been on placement within the business because i have had the chance to experience many different working areas, this results in the ability to try many different operations giving myself access to new skills, i have also been on additional training courses so have picked up qualifications for working with explosives.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy the program allot since finishing at the training school, the chances to work around the business and find an area i enjoy has been very valuable, this means i can enjoy the work and have found a team i enjoy working within. i feel very satisfied with the work i do and look forward to the future

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


the program is well organised most of the time however there are sometimes moments stemming from the training center that can cause upset as there has been issues with staffing as well as other issues at the center which started small bit rippled throughout the apprentices, causing concern for our completion of training.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


My employer is very supportive, i spend most my time away from my home site so whilst i'm away i am put up in hotels and accommodation, we also have meals paid for, there is also allot done for mental health support and various staff support if you need it.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


The support from the training provider varies from time to time due to the lack of structure currently there, when things are fully operational the staff there are very helpful however are often restricted by management and clearance for tasks, if the training school was better staffed it certainly could provide a better support system.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


The training provider has given me the basic know how to perform the tasks i require however allot my work also differs greatly from this, i do however feel it has prepared me better than some of the university graduates as i know the basics for my task and can perform suitably for the team.

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 exterior activities organised by the new starters committee such as go karting, paintball and other days out. however it is unfortunate that because we are a government division that we cannot get any company funded days or meals of any kind and all must be self funded if even at a discount.

9a. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend?


9b. Why?

I have already recommended dstl to friends, i feel that there is no better place to work for job satisfaction than where i do, you get a great feeling knowing you are helping people and supporting your government however i do warn them of the grueling task of surviving the training center.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL?

That they should be prepared to experience something entirely different to any place they have ever worked before and to enjoy the trill going on various trials and opportunities around the country to watch things get tested or blown up, never would i find somewhere where one day i'm playing with a £100,000 slow motion capture camera and the next designing new kit.

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