1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a business apprentice and as part of the apprenticeship I have done various placements in different departments across the power station including finance, contract management, stores and procurement engineering. At the moment I am working as a material analyst whilst I am completing my placement in procurement engineering.
In this role, I communicate with the work management and outage departments to analyse the materials that they need in order to complete a peice of work on a particular part of the power station. I work alongside suppliers to expedite orders and inform work week managers whether or not they are going to get the materials in on time to complete work.
I also work closely with the purchasers to inform them of the amount of a certain material that need purchasing or if we can transfer the material from a different power station in our fleet.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As this apprenticeship is my first full time role after leaving college, it has really helped me to develop communication and interpersonal skills. My confidence has grown the longer i have been in the role.
I have taken part in presentations which has helped with confidence when speaking publically. Organisational skills have also been developed as on a day to day basis i am responsible for the work i produce and the deadlines that i need to meet. I have learnt how to prioritise my workload and align myself to the priority of the wider station priorities.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme has been extremely enjoyed so far. All of the people i have worked alongside during my various placements have been really nice and made me feel welcome. The company, especially at Heysham where i am based seems to have a culture where people are happy to help and pass on knowledge, especially when they know someone is new and willing to learn.
Any problems, worries or concerns that I have had throughout my apprenticeship have been sorted out by my manager and i have felt comfortable approaching them for advice.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As i am the first business apprentice to be based permanently at Heysham Power Station rather than at the head office where the apprentices only complete a 3 month placement at a power station, i think at first it was a bit confusing for everyone.
I was enrolled onto a CIPS programme to work towards my Level 4 diploma in CIPS. However neither myself or my manager new what to expect at first. However as I have progressed through the apprenticeship i have become comfortable with how my daily work links to my exams and i now have a clear view of where i am heading.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Throughout the whole length of my apprenticeship I have had lots of support from EDF as a company and also individually from my manager and placement managers in the different departments i have worked.
The HR team were very helpful when i first joined and had questions about the exams i would be taking part in. Whenever i have a query or concern, i feel comfortable either approaching my line manager or even my colleagues on a day to day basis as i trust that they want to help me and see me progress to the end of the apprenticeship.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Much like the support i get from EDF and my managers, i also recieve a good level of support from my training provider. They have a small team of office staff that are always just a phone call or email away and most of my queries are answered right away.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
As my qualification involves studying for CIPS exams, i feel that this helps me to perform in my job role because i need to ensure that what i do in my daily job role relates to my exams. Therefore, i am constantly looking for examples from my daily job role that i can include when answering exam questions.
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.)
I think if there were any down sides to this apprenticeship then i would suggest that this aspect is one. As i am the only business apprentice permanently on site at Heysham, there arent many people of a similar age and in a similar role that i can relate to.
There is however a really good young professionals network which includes people from across Heysham Power Station (not necessarily apprentices) getting together every so often for networking events and benchmarking trips to external companies.
I think if there were sports activities after work then i would definitley be interested in attending these. However at the moment there arent any.
Despite this, i have been on various social 'get together' with my colleagues in the different departments i have worked in which are always fun.
9a. Would you recommend EDF Energy to a friend?
I would definitely recommend EDF to a friend. This is because as a company, there is a great culture of knowledge sharing, where in general, everyone is happy to help one another and develop eachothers skills.
In addition, line managers seem to be very helpful and caring as well as driven to help develop their staff and help them to achieve career goals.
There is a lot of training available both internally and externally that can help to develop new skills.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EDF Energy?
My best peice of advice when applying for this particular apprenticeship would be to research the company so that you have some prior knowledge of the business and its operations, however dont reseach it so much that you begin to sound scripted in the interview.
I would say to just be yourself, be confident and if there is anything you're really not sure about in terms of an interview questions, its better to admit you dont know, rather than try and make something up on the spot.
The application process can take a while whilst security vetting ect is cleared so its important that you are patient.
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