1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the STA (supplier technical assistance) department. This involves working with suppliers to ensure the correct systems are in place and that they are capable of making the required parts to the correct quality before full production commences. This involves review meetings, production line inspection, carrying out run at rates etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have greatly improved my problem solving skills throughout my apprenticeship. Previously I would not have known the correct approach or methods that could be used. I have also improved my people skills. My role involves talking to and meeting a lot of new people therefore I have had to learn how to adapt my approach when I come across different characters in order to get a result.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I used to work in a different department for the first 3 years of the apprenticeship for which that job role I did not enjoy at all. It was within a manufacturing environment and I found it was more a battle of ego's rather than people working together to solve problems. However I managed to move to the department I am currently in, in September last year and I really enjoy this job role. Saying this however, other apprentices in the same department as me do not enjoy their job. So I think it is very department dependent to whether people enjoy their apprenticeship experience or not. Currently I am enjoying it, I feel I am progressing and learning a lot, however if I remained in the previous department I would not feel the same way.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
In my opinion, for such a popular apprenticeship it is pretty poorly organised. The first 2 years of the course are college based and these especially are poorly executed. The students are kept in the dark about decisions until the last minute, for example the timetable of modules for the next academic year. Overall I feel like the organisation and structure is an area that greatly needs improving. Communication is also another area that could be improved, as the work could have been carried out, but has not been communicated to the students.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
A good level of support is provided to those who need it. For example if you're struggling with Uni work then something will be done to help you out, e.g. extra session with the lecturer etc. You may have to organise this yourself, but the resources are there and people are willing to help if you need it. I have been allocated a mentor who I can talk to if I have any issues or need some advice.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Training is encouraged in my department. There is a skills matrix that we should follow, that tells you at what stage you should be at certain milestones within the apprenticeship. My department manager is also very understanding that Uni work is important, so will give you some time during the working week to do uni work.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I find that some of the modules that we do relate quite closely to my role, and some are not relevant at all. However this is only towards my current role as they may be applicable to roles I go into in the future. I also understand that the course has to cater for all apprentices, so a module that may not be applicable to me, may help out another apprentice quite a lot.
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.)
Yes. Events like these are available, however I don't tend to join in. There are outdoor events and challenges organised by the company that I know a lot of other apprentices take part in. I'm not sure if these sorts of events are advertised much, or if I don't notice when they are as I'm not interested. But I know there are some.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
Once you get over the bad organisation and appreciate that it's giving you a degree and 6 years work experience in industry, you realise how lucky you are to have this opportunity. There are some downfalls and hard days, but you get through them. Overall I think it is a really good apprenticeship to be part of.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
When advertised to prospective candidates, the apprenticeship is sort of glamourised to look more fun and better than it is. This is to get people to want to join. I think some apprentices have a big shock when they get here and it turns out to pretty much just be a job. The advice I give would be is to take it for what it is, essentially a job with a part time degree. Don't have the expectation that you'll get to drive nice cars etc. Maybe sometimes, but these are small perks that happen rarely, don't let it be the reason you chose the apprenticeship. Chose it because you want to get a degree and have a job.
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