Cyber Security Higher Apprentice at National Grid

Start Date:
2018
Location:
Warwick
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5/6/7)
Review Date:
April 2019

Review Score

9.5/10

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

9/10

The apprentices at National Grid move around different teams so the work we are doing changes every 1-2 months. Some roles are mostly traditional office tasks - writing reports, giving presentations, communicating with third parties etc. -and some roles are more technical and require knowledge of coding, networks, or risk analysis.

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

10/10

I have learnt a lot about planning - juggling many different tasks at once and how to organise them with regards to priority. I have also gained a lot more confidence around giving presentations which is something that will only improve with experience.

National Grid also provide courses in business skills, like: business writing, negotiation skills, and presentation skills.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

9/10

This programme has allowed me to jump straight into the world of work without getting a degree - which suits my learning style well. Everyone at the company is very welcoming and keen to have an apprentice on their team - and people are always happy to make time to help with any issues that I may have

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

10/10

We have a well defined schedule of learning modules (classroom learning given by our training provider) and placements within different teams - though the placements can be changed upon request. For example, when I was due to leave one team a project started that I was interested in so I extended my placement by a few weeks to see the project through. This flexibility is really beneficial and allows us to focus on the work that we enjoy and are interested in.

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

10/10

There is a large support system at National Grid, from peers also on schemes, to line managers, and an anonymous HR hotline - everyone is supportive and willing to help. We are also given many feedback opportunities in the context of our apprenticeship and as an employee of the wider company which allow issues to be raised and dealt with.

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

9/10

The apprenticeship that I am doing (L4 Cyber Security Technologist) consists of classroom-based training for the learning modules. The trainers are all very knowledgeable about the subject and can answer any question that we have. We also have monthly visits by a skills coach who checks that our on-the-job work is going well and can provide help in creating our portfolio.

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

9/10

I think that the learning modules that we do are interesting and relate quite well to our job roles. The trainers that we have had have also given us extra reading around the subject that is more tailored to our every-day work, so that we can see how the more abstract areas of the syllabus can be implemented in the real world.

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.)

10/10

There are a lot of opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities at National Grid. As it is quite a large company there is a wide range of social groups and sports teams. There is also a lot of encouragement for fundraising and taking part in volunteering, both within the company and in the local areas around the different office locations.

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

Yes

9b. Why?

The atmosphere within the company is very welcoming and everyone is enthusiastic about what they do. There are many opportunities to improve your soft skills and technical skills alike, whether it be though training courses or just asking someone for help. Also, being given the opportunity to work on real tasks and meeting lots of people throughout the company lets you build up a (very valuable) network of people that you can ask for help from in the future.

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

National Grid value the soft skills of their applicants just as much as the technical skills - so make sure to highlight when you have shown good communication/planning/team working skills in your application. Also, you don't need a background in computer science to do cyber security - you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn!

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