1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Completing department rotations according to a pre-organized rota for the first 3 years of the apprenticeships, which gives you a good idea of what areas you like more than others. This helps you when choosing a department for your final year-long placement. My job role is about 70% office based work (e.g. CAD, purchasing, analysis etc.) pertinent to engineering studies, with the remaining 30% of my time being spent on the shop floor completing tasks relating to the office-based work, such as implementation of a production process.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The ability to access industry standard machinery and software enabled me to develop my skills in CNC, which were first used in the beginning of my apprenticeship. I have applied these skills in my professional life, when conducting machining operations within the business. I have also been able to learn CAD skills, that I will carry with me throughout my career.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
There are certain aspect of my apprenticeship program that I do not like as much as others - mainly the academic work involved. I have completed a HNC/HND and am currently working towards a degree, so the workload is quite demanding. I enjoy my work life because I am quite fond of the culture that comes with a large company.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Throughout my apprenticeship I have always known where to go when changing departments, and my manager has been excellent at communicating any changes to myself and others. Academically, the program is well structured, with technical apprentices able to work up through BTEC levels until level 6 (depending on the individual circumstances).
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I am able t talk to my employer and be listened to if I have any concerns. My manager will accommodate me wherever possible if I suggest a change that would help my learning. For example, if I request to attend a college tutorial day in the college holiday, they will more often than not allow it, as it is beneficial to your learning.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The college that my company use are supportive of the students, provided that you show effort and willingness to learn. They will go out of their way to help you, but if you aren't willing to help yourself then don't expect anything but the bare minimum in return, which is fair in my opinion. Provided you work hard they will do their absolute best to ensure you do not fail.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I am hoping that a BEng qualification will enable me to achieve the grade of engineer within my company in the next few years. The academic work that I have been doing has enabled me to apply knowledge learnt, such as lean manufacturing, in my every day work life which has been enjoyable.
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.)
Cummins has a sports and social club that anyone can join. They regularly have day trips out and take part in sporting events. There are also other non-official groups that people form to take part in sports, like football teams and fishing parties. The social life at Cummins is good, however a lot of people decide not to my work and social lives.
9a. Would you recommend Cummins to a friend?
Cummins has afforded me the opportunity to build, at the very least, a solid foundation for a career in heavy engineering. I enjoy the day-to-day life at work and the educational opportunities that have been given to me. On top of that we are paid extremely well and all of our education is funded by the company.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Cummins?
Be honest as you will be caught out if you are lying, and don't be arrogant as it is not a desirable trait. Be helpful to others and show that you have to ability to work effectively in a team or on your own. Also, only apply if you have a genuine interest in engineering.
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