1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My day to day role involves maintaining mechanical and electrical equipment on site. This includes fault finding, planned preventative maintenance, condition based monitoring and general maintenance. The equipment i work on includes pumps, macerators, motors, starters and sewage treatment related equipment. My responsibilities as an apprentice is to carry out these tasks and submit evidence in the form of write ups of the jobs i do.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many new skills relating to mechanical and electrical equipment, such as fault finding techniques and how equipment functions. I had no previous skills in this department and therefore have learnt lots of new skills. I have also learnt lots of electrical and mechanical theory while at college.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my day to day activties and my job as a whole very much do to the people I work with and the work itself, which I find interesting. However there have been a few difficulties along the way in relation to the training provider, which has made the programme difficult to enjoy at times.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised and has a clear structure which I understand and can follow easily. The first year was spent full time at college, the second year was at the workplace with one day a week at college. Then the third and fourth year was also one day a week at college doing the HNC, while at the workplace for the rest of the time.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive lots of support from my employer, Thames Water. They encourage and offer you lots of different training activities and course, which are actively presented to you. They also support you to push your learning and development further by carrying out the HNC while doing the apprenticeship, which they support you in doing.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The training provider's support is okay, but not great. Personally I have had a few different assessor's due to them leaving or being replaced, sometimes with large time gaps of a few months in between assessors, and that has made getting a helpful amount of support more difficult. However when they have been there, the support is generally good.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I think that my qualification is helpful for my role, however I believe that it could be better. This is because although the units are related to my role, there are some skills that are not focused on enough, such as the electrical units which I think could be more thorough, and some skills missed out altogether, such as fabrication or machining.
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 extra-curricular activities offered at my work. This can come in the form of Days to Give, where the apprentices go out of the workplace and give back to the community, such as cleaning woodland areas, or helping charities. There are also sports competitions such as football and fishing that you can get involved in too.
9a. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
It is a good apprenticeship scheme which offers good money, a good environment, and good oppurtunities to progress and learn. The people are also very nice, supportive and helpful, and there is a job guaranteed at the end of the apprenticeship. Therefore I feel the company is a good place for an apprentcieship and I would reccommend it to a friend.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
Have confidence in yourself, but also listen to others and be open to learning, as no one expects you to know everything at the start. Also carry out some research into the company first, and be aware of the projects we carry out and how we are operating as a business.
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