Electrical & Instrumentation Apprentice at National Grid

Start Date:
2016
Location:
Wisbech
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Review Date:
April 2019

Review Score

8.4/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

8/10

During the apprenticeship my role on a day to day basis varies due to training requirements and job role. As an electrical and instrumentation technician my day could be filled with instrument work or electrical work depending on the jobs required. So far most of my time has been spent training rather than carrying out the job.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

9/10

I have learnt a lot of new skills that I wouldn't of known before starting the course. I have learnt a lot of electrical skills including testing and installation. These skills helped me pass a Compex course which focused on hazardous area installation and inspection. I have also learned a lot of instrumentation skills including calibration and testing and i have learned how to design simple ladder logic. I have also gained a lot fo experience fault finding.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

7/10

I have enjoyed aspects of the apprenticeship but I have found that the planning of the course as a whole has been poor and that it makes the programme feel disjointed. The first year was almost exclusively spent at training centres/college with the initial plan when joining being spending less and less time training and slipping into the job role more as the course progressed. The second year was spent mostly on site with occasional courses throughout the year which meant we got to experience some more time on site. The third year however has been another year spent training in instrumentation which has taken us away from the on job experience when i feel we should have had this training in the second year. I am still enjoying the course but i can honestly say that the planning of the programme has really hindered my enjoyment.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

7/10

The programme was originally going to be 1st year mostly training with the following years being less training focused as we move towards the end goal of finishing our apprenticeship and going onto site. Obviously this hasn't happened as you can see from my last answer. Also when joining the apprenticehip it was understood we were going to be undertaking an NVQ which we were informed was going to be changing to a trailblazer qualification. I had no problem with this but we are now approaching the end of our third year and the trailblazer for our course has still not been rolled out to us to complete with just over a year to the end date.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?

9/10

The company have employed very helpful trainers that are always willing to answer questions and make sure everyone understands before moving on. When we were booked on the compex course not one of us had the ability to practice onsite so we were given a day to go through some typical examples at the training centre with a trainer. This support helped me pass the course.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?

9/10

The trainers at Eakring are very good and will assist if required. In our first year our trainers were very helpful for the electrical PEO and helped us as we needed. This year with the instrument training we haven't had a set training provider as of yet and the courses have been a bit lacklustre but the training still teaches us the basics of what we need to know.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?

9/10

I feel that the trailblazer will help me with the role and the training so far is very good at giving me an understanding of the inner workings of the job. The HNC is somewhat helpful but i feel it would be more useful if we were doing an Instrument HNC as most if not all of the group will be predominantly instrument technicians when we are qualified.

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.)

9/10

Yes there are a lot of networking events and social activities. I personally don't partake in a lot of extra-curricular activities mainly due to the current training meaning i am away from home most weeks, but the opportunities still come up frequently. I have looked at going to networking events in the past but they tend to be in big cities like Birmingham or London which isn't very convenient for me.

9a. Would you recommend National Grid to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

I feel that going through the apprenticeship is worth it to get the end goal of having a well paid and stable job at the end of it. Having seen my father work for National Grid (and all of it's other names over the years) for 40+ years i can see it is a good job to have if you are willing to put the work in.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to National Grid?

The job at the end is worth going through a long apprenticeship. If you are thinking of applying be prepared to work hard to reach the end goal because it's not easy at times. However, there is a lot of support out there if you need it and working as part of a team is key.

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