1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role in its simplest form consists to ensuring all college work is completed within the required timescale to the correct standard. Within Thames Water my role is based upon performing reactive maintenance from both an electrical and automation standpoint in a safe manner. This can include the use of a variety of fault finding techniques, use of engineering drawings and a multitude of tests. I am then required to correct any faults present to the best of my ability.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over my time within Thames Water I have learned a variety of fault finding techniques, gained improved understanding towards the way components and their setup has an effect on an individual system and the effect that system has on Thames as a whole. I've gained electrical and electronic skills as well as gained understanding of automation programming that I have been able to apply to my day to day working. My ability to plan my work has improved with my understanding of these systems and the components involved.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Thames and I hope I will continue to, the problem solving and knowing that no two days are the same has kept my work fresh and exciting. The continuous training I have received has greatly improved my understanding and the way I look at many systems not only within Thames but within the world around as well.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The only gripes I've had and I must stress these are old ones, were the issues surrounding the college (Procat) and the assessors for our write ups. The college issue surrounded the units we were undertaking during the first and second years; there was confusion around which ones we were to be completing and conflicting information as to who exactly was calling the shots that resulted in us completing more units than we were originally intended to (I'm all for extra training but when you're on a time limit for the year you want to know that you're working to complete the right units so you don't get caught out later on).
As for the assessors the changeover of companies caused a considerable delay in being able to make an accurate start towards gaining write up criteria and ensuring the write ups being completed were to the required standard. Ongoing issues regarding assessors that spilled into the third year resulted in some individuals having no assessor for 10-11 months. I must stress that for the time being the issue appears resolved and thanks to the hard work of my current assessor [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] I have made incredible strides in completing criteria to the point that I wonder how much further along I would be had these issues not occurred. Thankfully [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions]'s efforts in dealing with activate at the time these problems were going on have got us to this point but I still remain somewhat guarded that another problem could arise affecting my final year of the apprenticeship.
While the long past issues have provided a bit of a stain on things I am thankful to Emma for working to resolve them to the best of her ability and taking this feedback at the time it was occurring during the apprenticeships meetings at Crossness.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer in both my team and within Thames as a whole have been exceptionally supportive, its been ensured that I receive any and all training towards the safe working within my role. The receiving of tools appropriate to my role were a great improvement towards undertaking work on a day to day basis and have allowed me to begin organising myself further which should assist towards me settling into my future role. The training I have received from my mentor [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] has been entirely vital towards understanding the requirements of my job and the most efficient ways of completing the associated tasks in a safe a timely manner.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
In recent months with the resolution of issues regarding the training provider and assessors I have received excellent support from [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] towards completing my qualifications. His knowledge and experience in the area of completing and getting the most from a write up have been instrumental in improving my ability to complete this apprenticeship.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I have yet to complete my qualification but I do feel that as time goes on the continued building of my knowledge and experience allows me to perform my role more efficiently and decisively. My understanding gives me greater insight into the potential issues and solutions associated with those systems I am required to maintain to ensure their on-going functionality.
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.)
In work there is the Sewer Week Tour I am able to work as a part of allowing me to know more about the history of the sewer system and Thames as a whole, I receive some time to do Time To Give allowing me to volunteer and assist Thames events and Charities, on occasion there are networking events between Strategic Pumping and Trunk Sewers.
9a. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
While I believe that my role in Wastewater carries a stereotypical Stigma to it being a messy and undesirable role due to its association with Sewage I would not change my choice to join the company. I do believe with some improvements to working practices the company can improve further and what the company has to offer is ultimately desirable.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
I would say that from an apprenticeship standpoint, be prepared to put the work in. While the support is entirely there to make things easier for you this is not something you can kick back and relax your way through if you intend to do well with it. Be open to the training on offer and take any that will improve your understanding however slight. It could entirely be the slither of information that gives you what you need.