1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
We learn how the veneered dashboards are made. We work through each area learning every process including preparing veneers, pressing substrates, preparing the substrates, pressing on the veneers, sanding, repairing, lacquering, sanding lacquered parts and then polishing. Throughout we are taught how to identify defects and how best to deal with them if at all possible.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. My woodworking skills have improved significantly. The main difference has been from understanding how many steps are involved in achieving the quality required. My veneering skills in particular have improved the most. I know understand the characteristics of different woods and how to avoid situations that may lead to defects.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme because there is a lot to learn. Throughout the three years I have been given multiple projects to work on that have really challenged my skills. Not only have these given me chances to be creative they have taught me important skills in time management. All in all I have enjoyed the work and the people I have been working with.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There is a basic structure in which apprentices work alongside associates learning how they do each process. They move from one area to the next picking up more skills. This works well as long as the apprentice is interested and motivated. We have reviews from time to time. They are scheduled, but often slip due to managers being busy etc.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
People on the shopfloor are always very helpful and will answer any questions we have. If we have any issues we can easily raise these with our manager and he will sort it out for us. I have felt supported throughout the programme.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
College is great. The tutors go far beyond their remit, staying late for students so they can really push the limits with their projects.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
An understanding of wood has helped me a lot at work. It allows me to provide value to the company by providing solutions to problems 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.)
I think there are but I have not been involved in them.
9a. Would you recommend BMW Group to a friend?
The company obviously has money to spend. You don't feel like you are in a company struggling to survive and you can see space for career progression. The support networks are there.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BMW Group?
Apply for something you are interested in. Being interested in what you are learning gives you a huge advantage over others. If you end up in an area that you are not interested, let your manages know and try to get somewhere you are. It works out best for both yourself and the company.
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