1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to learn how to use and develop CAE tools to help model the behaviour of a car, to find out if the design is sufficient to deliver it's desired performance.; I also learn how to carry out post test analysis on real physical car tests. Sometimes I get to take part in the testing myself.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned many new skills, mainly in how to use new software used to design and develop automobiles. I have learned how to use CAD software to design car parts, CAE software to test car systems and data analysis software to clean and analyse data. I have also learned how a the entire car system works, components within it and how to test these. Furthermore, it has developed my skill in terms of applying physics to real world problems.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my programme very much as I have a very supportive and knowledgeable team around me, who are patient with me and understand that the purpose of an apprenticeship is to learn, and that my primary role is not yet to contribute to team deliverables. This creates a pleasant relaxed environment to grow in which is very enjoyable. Also it is one of the best paying apprenticeships around.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
In my opinion the course is one year too long. There is no need for two years of college (all be it one year is part time), as I believe you could learn all that is required for university after one.
The first year was a bit demotivating as we didn't spend any time in work nearly, and repeated a lot of things we learned in A-level. Since the first year however the course structure dramatically improves especially when you get into work. University is an improvement on the college days. Also, it would be nice if the course allowed you to spend time in a number of different departments, other than being in the same one for 6 years.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
JLR gives you plenty of support, in terms of finances and on top of that there are loads of perks to working here, discounts etc. There are plenty of reliable outlets if you have a problem at work, as you are given a work based learning manager, who takes care of all of your pastoral needs should you require it. They also meet with you every 12 weeks to make sure you are progressing well.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Warwickshire college gave little support when training for qualifications and the average teaching standard was quite low, although the automotive workshop side of the course was much better at developing knowledge and understanding, and would go that little bit extra to help you understand things better. They made learning exciting. The University of Warwick is a lot better, and they provide plenty of online material and revision sessions to help you through. They could be better at distributing amounts of work in proportion to time between blocks but generally it's ok.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
All of the knowledge that I gained at college in relevant subjects (mainly maths) has come in handy in my work place recently, as a lot of problem solving in engineering does require you to go back to the very basic principles, for instance integration and differentiation get used a lot. Same can be said for some university modules. Not all is relevant though, as everyone has different roles.
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 extra curricular activities and professional networking activities available but it all depends what department you're in as to whats available to you. What's available to everyone however, is ELS, which is a learning scheme where by the business pays £250 to an activity of your choosing that will further develop any skill. This can range from advanced driving to cooking, to plastering or to snowboarding.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
Best money you'll be paid for an apprenticeship in the UK, global firm with massive opportunities. First year is a bit of a bore if you have to go to Warwickshire college, but beyond that when you're in work, you're treated with respect and are given opportunities to provide real contributions to the business, without being under any sort of pressure before you have completed the course. Also there's loads of discounts and perks available to you and your family when you join.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
Be keen to learn, and remember that even in the boring times in college/university that you are being paid a fantastic wage for your age and experience. Also in the early years you are there to learn so don't beat yourself up if you feel like you aren't doing enough for the business.
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