1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The daily activities vary greatly depending on which year/placement you are in, 1st year is full time training at IPS, so a normal day depends on the unit being carried out, but is generally practical/theory surrounding electrical fault finding. 2nd year is a placement rotation year, meaning the daily activities vary greatly depending on the function you find yourself in at the time, and the 3rd year is following on from the 2nd, picking a favoured department, and continuing working in that placement for a whole year.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a multitude of new skils, fault finding methods, manual handling techniques, as well as team working and leadership skills developed throughout the different team building opportunities made available throughout the apprenticeship. My knowledge of electrical and electronic systems has grown greatly, i feel much more confident discussing these topics and carrying out electrical work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my apprenticeship greatly, being in my 3rd year I have completed 6 placements that were 6-8 weeks in length, after which i applied to the function i wanted to work in, and i am very happy in the placement. The opportunity to spend a year trialing and testing different jobs before deciding which to pursue is something rare in an apprenticeship, and allowed me more confidence in carrying out my role
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured, there are clear stages that each apprentice must work through and complete, with the necessary underpinning education in order to ensure that the apprentices are confident in their roles, in their knowledge, and in themselves when communicating with other people within the business. The apprenticeship is proven and has been well run in this structure for a number of years.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There are multiple people situated within the site that are designated to look after my interests. This could be the manager of the placement, my supervisor, apprentice manager and other people who volunteer to get involved with the apprenticeship and act as mentors for the apprentices. There are designated safeguarding officers, who are there to help with any concern an apprentice has.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The training recieved from IPS was to a good standard. There were some issues with the implementation of the new BAE BTEC curriculum but these were worked through effectively, and the tutors were happy to assist at any stage. The NVQ side of the college was excellent, and the tutors were very kind.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification has helped me in my day to day job. The information gained from the BTEC and the NVQ are regularly applied during my work. The confidence given by the qualificationa helped me greatly, working with experienced electronic engineers, i would not enjoy having to ask for every piece of basic information, however the qualification allows me to know the basics, and have a good platform to build off.
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 have before taken part in the 5-a-side football tournament that happens regularly on the hockey astroturf pitches next door. I have been on numerous nights out with the other apprentices as well as with the others in my department. There have been opportunities to travel elsewhere in the country to meet other apprentices from elsewhere in the business.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
I would recommend the BAE Systems Rochester apprenticeship to a friend as i believe it is a good opportunity to build a career. The best part of the apprenticeship for me, that sets it aside from other apprenticeships is the option to rotate around the business for a year, before deciding which department you want to pursue a career in.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
I would say, research the company before the interview, have an idea of the products that are made at the site, as well as a brief understanding of the history of BAE Rochester. The knowledge does not need to be extensive, just enough to convey to the interviewer that you have an interest in the work and history of rochester.
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