Engineering Apprentice at GSK

Start Date:
South East
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£20,000 annually
Review Date:
March 2019

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Review Score

9.4 /10

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


Day to day I help with the engineering operations at GSK Maidenhead, whether they be daily routines, maintenance jobs and breakdowns that halt production.

I attend college in Kingston once a week where I'm working towards completing a HNC qualification, and have completed my NVQ level 3 on site.

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


Along with completing the qualifications advertised with the apprenticeship which were: NVQ level 2, EAL access to Engineering, NVQ Level 3, BTEC Level 3 and BTEC Level 4 (HNC), we have been to training providers such as Siemens and Endress and Hauser where we have learnt more about their products, as well as internal GSK courses on resilience and communications, meaning we gain not only technical skills, but also life skills.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I thoroughly enjoy the program I am on. I am able to learn skills direct from engineers who have spent years on the plant at my factory, and understand practically how things work, what may go wrong with them, and how to fix those issues. It's much better than a Uni course

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The structure is perfect. It is uniform across GSK, and run locally following strict guidelines. The engineering manager is our direct line manager and oversees the apprenticeship on site, but the early talent lead for site also looks after the apprentices across all programmes, and the engineering training manager assists us in developing our skills, as well as advise on courses we can attend.

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


GSK as an employer is very supportive, as you can see from question four where we have a number of staff on site that ensure we are meeting deadlines, don't have any issues both at work, college or in our personal life, and just ensure we are getting the training and skills we want.

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


Kingston College is where all of the mandatory training of the apprenticeship is completed for apprentices at GSK Maidenhead - this has now been changed so only the NVQ segments, and BTEC level 3 is completed there. This is due to standardisation across GSK, but also due to slight issues with their HNC and HND level courses, but as a whole the college is very supportive.

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


The NVQ and BTEC level 3 is a very worthwhile qualification, with some elements of the BTEC Level 3 going into maintenance planning and project manager type roles, allowing me to trial further position within the engineering departments. The HNC has not given me any additional practical, or theoretical gain for my current roll

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.)


The GSK Early Talent team set up NxtGen, which is the internal apprentice network for GSK, run by the apprentices. It allows the apprentices time to visit other sites, as well as organise social events where the apprentices can network, make friends, and just have a good laugh with one another

9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend?


9b. Why?

Because the company is very supportive, you have a wage and a pension, even though you spend a year of the apprenticeship away from site at college, and because the training you receive is not just for GSK, but a nationally recognised qualification, that can be transferred if you change jobs

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

Take your time answering the online assessment questions, research and understand what the company is about, and its values, and show enthusiasm and willingness to learn when you come to the assessment centres to be interviewed. GSK wants individuals who will help shape our future, which is what you need to show you can be

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