1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Mechanical Engineering apprentice, which involves the following:
Milling Turning CAD Welding Light and heavy fabrication
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned:
How to use a lathe How to use a mill How to TIG weld How to work effectively as a team How to communicate
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the 'real world' work aspects at Dstl very much, however the training provider (QinetiQ) has been a disappointment at times.
4. How valued do you feel by DSTL?
I feel valued both as an engineer in training, and as an individual.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There have been issues with organisation and structuring, some of which have been dealt with, and some of which are a work in progress, although this is now primarily aimed at 1st/2nd year apprentices.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider in question (QinetiQ) has proved to be very unsupportive throughout the majority of the first and second years, however recent changes have led to the beginnings of a turnaround, which is a huge improvement from before.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
DSTL as a company have been extremely supportive, and my line manager in particular has done a fantastic job.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is excellent for an apprenticeship scheme.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have attended several events such as school career fairs, conferences, exhibitions, etc. This is one area I have particularly enjoyed.
9a. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
To put it simply, it's a fantastic opportunity for anyone to learn how to become an engineer. The work is interesting, the training is good, the staff are eager to teach, and the workplace is always in high spirits.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL? *
Two words: Show enthusiasm!
If you are enthusiastic about engineering, you stand a good chance :)
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