1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as an engineering apprentice varies throughout each year of the 4 course. Within the first 2 years my role is to aid specialist operators on the shop floor to gain an understanding and appreciation for the methods of manufacturing. During the last 2 years my role will turn to a more engineering aspect of the business, looking at the processes of the manufacturing as well as the testing that is applied to the product.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Everyday at work I am continuously developing various skills, not just academically but socially. With being on different sections of the business I have got to know a lot of people and communication is key to get the most out of these placements. This has improved for myself as I have built up more confidence when it comes to asking questions no matter how ridiculous.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am very much enjoying my programme, I am only a year in and have felt welcome since the first day. I have learnt many new skills and improved on skills already looked at in college. And I look forward to the next few years and what they have to offer.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of the programme is very well laid out, there is a plan which details which section of the company you should be on at what time. As well as external activities we are taken on to further develop us as people. There is also flexibility within the plan if you have a specific preference to a certain section of work.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There are many people within the company that offer support to the apprentices. We have a main manager who looks after all the apprentices and any issues they have, but there is also two managers within our factory who hold forums every month to address any issues. No matter how small the issue there is someone who can help.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I have a meeting with my NVQ assessor every few months to discuss progress and any issues I am having with the qualification. They are always on hand to answer any emails when they are not in site. They are also very proactive in making sure I am up to date with any work and will talk to managers within the company to allow time to catch up if necessary.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The type of work we do here is very specific and is done to a very high degree of accuracy. Therefore there is not really a main qualification out there that suits our work directly. Therefore the NVQ we do has been adapted to provide us with the closest necessary skills we might need while working. This is domestic electrical cabling and provides us with a base knowledge that we build on top of while at work.
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 loads of different social events happening all the time outside of work. There is a MBDA football team as well as a continuous stream of charity events put on by the companies charity team. This includes such things at a golf tournament as well as a pub games night. there is also a wide range of external opportunities such as Farnborough air show which the apprentices man a stand for the day.
9a. Would you recommend MBDA to a friend?
The level of the apprenticeship is very high, and the structure and support you receive throughout is outstanding. The friendliness of the workforce cannot be compared to. The benefits of the role such as pension and bonuses are also very advantageous with yearly pay rises based on performance in work and at college.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to MBDA?
An interest within engineering will take you a long way through the application and interview, taking part in engineering activities in your own time really shows your passion for the subject. Work experience placements at any engineering company are also a very good way to make your CV stand out. And just be yourself.
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