1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job role involves taking sensors and cameras provided by suppliers and positioning them on our vehicles so they are functional. This involves dealing with suppliers to ensure the components meet our specifications and other teams within the company to ensure it is compatible with the work they have done on the vehicle.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt and developed many skills since starting with JLR. I am earning my foundation degree to be able to progress to a prestigious university free of charge. I have been trained in the use of computer design which helps with my every day job, and I have developed a lot of my personal and professional skills including communication, time management and work ethic.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do enjoy the programme more than I had anticipated when I started. I was unsure of what to expect from a large engineering company but there is a diverse range of roles that you can join. My team are very welcoming and will help with any issues I have, professionally or personally. The company culture massively suits me as I am allowed to just complete my work while still given support.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is not very well organised. Communication between the apprentice teams, the college/university and JLR is not clear, creating issues between them. Our induction was not well planned, my manager only knew she had 4 apprentices 2 days before we arrived at work. However, training opportunities and support with our learning is readily available, and the mentor system and support from managers can be excellent, but it depends on the manager.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My managers have all given me plenty of support with my work and learning consistently. My mentor (known as a Work-Based Learning Manager) is always willing to help when they are available to do so. Any member of my team at work, manager or colleague, is more than happy to support me with anything I need. Academic lecturers are also willing to help to a certain extent, but some more than others.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The college who provide the foundation degree attempt to provide the support you require if you ask them to, however they are often done halfheartedly and it can feel as though staff members from the college do not listen to apprentices concerns or issues. They often say they will do what they can about the issue and just not mention it again for a while, doing nothing to resolve the issue.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
It does to a certain degree. The foundation degree can be shaped around the job role of the apprentice by their manager, with variations including more computer design, more electrical or more mechanical style courses. There are college projects in the second year which are based at and directly affect your job and contribute positively to the business. These all help give a wider and more complete understanding of your job and the business as a whole.
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 know that certain teams do get involved in extra-curricular activities from 5 a side football to company wide social events like the off-road event where people could come and take their vehicles around an off-road course which was fun for all. Certain senior managers take their employees out on what is known as "off-site days" which for me allowed me to network with my new senior manager and members of our wider team I had not worked with as much. Teams often have their own individual social events including meals/drinks.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
The job is enjoyable and the roles you can undertake are varying, so can suit anyone. All JLR employees I have worked with have been friendly, helpful and welcoming. Whilst the college and it's foundation degree is unorganised, it is no longer in the programme. The degree you can earn is fully paid for, and the wage you receive is exceptional for an apprenticeship.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
Ask as many questions as you can, show your interest and get yourself involved in a proactive way. Communicate effectively and clearly. Gain any possible engineering experience, no matter how vague, and talk about it- mine was sound engineering and my interviewer loved it. Be aware of the time limits on the entry tests. At the interview and the assessment (which are the same time) they are looking for how you work in a team, how you communicate with others and control situations without necessarily dominating them and your eagerness to learn.
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