1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Current role is to manage all aspects of production for the hot strip mill including 4 shift teams and other day resources. Role involves management of finance budgets, Capital expenditure plans and daily operation of 370 people in a 24hr 4 shift pattern.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My apprenticeship gave me a true grounding and transition to work life. It set my work ethic and allowed me to see a very wide cross section of areas, disciplines and opportunities. The apprenticeship led to various engineering roles and has also been a key skill in my move to the production management where engineering experience and understanding are invaluable to balance production targets against engineering needs.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really value the apprenticeship time, I still have friends from my apprenticeship year and even had them at my wedding - life long friends many still work here in Tata Steel others have moved on to further their career elsewhere. I have many memories and storied that I still recant today ( and some I wouldn't tell a soul !)
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I can only speak of the program I undertook. It was structured with the first year in full time education, then day release for the next 3 - this led to work based experience that is hard to comprehend when in full time education - this practical knowhow and tricks of the trade along with the formal education and learning was for me a perfect balance. That said some people found in my year found the academic portion not as easy as others and so a move to more vocational assessment would probably be better these days.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
the support from TATA ( british steel in them days ) was superb - the course was fully funded as were books and equipment, we were also paid a wage whilst attending college or day release. the whole organisation did and to this day does value the apprenticeship programs - and growing its own talent.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Again speaking personally I found the training provider to be too rigid in the course design and content - during the 4 years some people were moving towards an automation role in future years but the college was very rigid with the course offerings for the apprenticeship - even though the course offerings were available to study outside the program. I think having an option of different models rather than a 1 size fits would have been more beneficial to the organisation in the long run.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Im nots sure the formal qualification has helped in my role - it has definitely helped with my choice of returning to college to gain a Masters Degree, but in my actual career path the practical knowledge and problem-solving was more beneficial. That said I have stayed with the same employer since my apprenticeship if I had chosen to move the formal qualification may have been a benefit on by CV.
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.)
yes there was a sports and social club and there is a MAGNET scheme for young professionals who start in the organisation. Again I think there were far more social activities in previous years than I see now.
9a. Would you recommend Tata Steel to a friend?
It has been a superb employer for me and my family, I have had many opportunities to progress my career from when I left school with GCSE qualifications through to getting a masters degree and becoming a senior manager. The company recognises and encourages talent to grow within its walls and offers superb support and encouragement.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Tata Steel?
Do your homework -- why do you want to work for TATA, what does TATA do that interests you and what do you want to bring to TATA steel. Most importantly be clear in your mind where you want to go and how you want to get there.
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