1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to maintain the pumps that provide clean water for most of London. On a day to day basis I will mostly be in a college completing a BTEC in engineering and NVQ in both mechanical and electrical engineering. When I am on site, I will be shadowing other employees till I have the necessary training.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot, particularly when it comes to working with machines such as lathes and drilling machines. I have also become competent with electrical work ranging from working on circuit boards to wiring up switches and household objects. My BTEC course has also taught me a lot particularly with health and safety and mechanical drawing.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme moderately, sometimes when I am on site it can get a bit boring as i am not really doing much as i don't have the correct training/qualification to perform the task (I need confined spaces training to go down the shaft however I have been in college when training days are available)
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
On the surface it seems very well structured, 1 year full time at college, 1 year with day release for college and the last 2 years go towards my NVQ however the college seems very unstructured as most times I don't quite know what is going on or what I have to do to complete my apprenticeship.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from my employer particularly my line manager as when I was having a very stressful time and had burnt out, he got me in contact with occupational health to see what support can be provided for me. In college it is difficult for me to get support however.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Our training provider visit us every 6 weeks or so but apart from that we rarely hear from them and don't really have a direct line of communication. Most of the time it is a different person each time seeing to us rather than 1 familiar face that would make it easier for us.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I have already applied my qualification to my work as in college we stripped and rebuilt a small pump that I can immediately apply to my working life. I also work hand tools often in college which helps me know which tool is needed for which job when it comes to the workplace.
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.)
Not really, there are occasional social events but I am usually in college when they are going on. I am sure once I am working full time I will notice a difference however at the moment I feel a disconnect from my team which leads to less motivation with working.
9a. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
It develops some vital skills that will assist you with a lot of things and it is an important sector that is constantly growing. It is also a good way to earn money whilst also get some good qualifications whilst earning. Overall it is a good job with some rough edges.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
I would say to go into it with an open mind as people think you might end up being a plumber or working in sewage however there are so many different sectors to it that although some people have to work in and around sewage, it is still an enjoyable job.
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