1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On a day to day basis, I start the day checking the standards for our magnetic analysis test frames. I also calibrate the other equipment in the lab to ensure that they are all giving the correct readings. I then proceed to check the lines out on plant, checking that they are running to the correct standards, if not, question why not.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my apprenticeship I have gained confidence due to having to perform quarterly performance updates and presentations for the senior management team. I have gained significant team working skills due to working in an area with only 4 staff. I have also gained managerial techniques due to checking the lines performance and ensuring that people are working to the correct standards and safely.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The apprenticeship programme run by Cogent Power Orb was a really well rune programme. The programme was enjoyable due to many factors, the training was useful for my job and the group of people in the class made it even better. The group of apprentices that joined the same time as me were fantastic and we have all kept in contact since finishing the programme.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of the programme offered by Cogent Power Orb was very good. We had quarterly rotations through the relevant departments within the technical role. The training I received was good and relevant to my current job role. I was then placed into a role for 1 year in a training position, I was later given the job on a full term basis.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support given by Cogent Power Orb was great. Upon starting the apprenticeship we were in college 2 days a week, work gave us every opportunity to attend these days and even provided transport. Our mentors were more than willing to take time out of their days to support us with our college work and our Orb work if we needed/wanted it.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The support received from Gower College Swansea was good. Our lecturers were happy to assist us with any work we needed support on and help us out with or coursework. They even stayed behind after the lessons when we asked them for their help, taking time out of their breaks. They were always contactable outside of "school" hours too via emails.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification gained from Gower College Swansea helps me do my job on a daily basis. It has helped further my knowledge within the steel industry through modules on metallurgy and chemical analysis. With this knowledge I can perform my tasks to a high standard and ensure that I have the correct results to ensure that the material being produced is a high standard.
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.)
Within Cogent Power Orb, there are not many extra curricular activities to get involved in. I have singed up for various scientific communities such as IMO3 and MDMS. There are events being run by these communities that we are invited to attend on a monthly basis. There are occasionally social events run through the different teams within the plant.
9a. Would you recommend Tata Steel to a friend?
I would recommend people to join Cogent Power Orb as it is a growing business with a huge potential to be a massive player in the market. There is a wealth of knowledge to help assist you to further your career if you want to. They help you to gain all of your qualifications.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Tata Steel?
When working for Cogent Power Orb, I would recommend people to just be themselves and be honest about anything that happens. No-one minds if anything goes wrong, just if it gets hidden. Just work hard to your full potential and promotions will come (more money). It is always worth working hard within my department as you get a thanks at the end of the day.
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