1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I manufacture an active ingrediant that we produce on our site. This is involves working with chemicals in either a lab for sample analysis, or starting, monitoring and finishing chemical reaction and distillations. I am being trained on risk assessments so i can safely prepare work for engineers to carry out on plant incase of breakdowns or planned maintenance.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During the apprenticeship I have developed team working and communication skills due to working along side a shift team, day and production staff. My health and safety awareness has improved due to training and my behaviour changing to identify and deal with hazards through reporting them. It's also improved from the risk asessment training. Working in a lab has improved my lab skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy coming to work and working along side my team. I have a lot of support with my apprenticeship from my line manager, and support with my training due to the behaviours of those I work with on site. I think I am paid well for what I do, and well looked after in terms of health and safety.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is well organised and structured. I know where I am in terms of my progress due to regular reviews with my line manager, what I need to be ready for because meetings are booked well in advance. Placements are outlined on my calendar so I know where I need to be, and those who I work with on these placements are aware and prepared for when I arrive.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I recieve a lot of support from my employer. I have regular reviews so I can flag up any issues. I get the help I need based around my training, and when I've had issues in the past, had the support and a plan for a way forward to get me back on track.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Whenever we have fallen behind on work we've had extra days to make sure we can catch up. Not had a variety of teachers, sometimes only one teacher teaching us various topics without the experience or knowledge to teach the subject properly. Not a clear plan for when exams are or where we are in meeting those deadlines.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The training from the training provider gives you the theory and knowledge that isn't quite accessible from working on-site. It makes topics easier to understand on-site as you can link what you have learnt to the processes you see. There aren't enough practical experiments to do at the training provider.
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.)
There are charity events, such as charity football matches between Syngenta staff and contractors. Days out such as the Cereals event and trips to some farms, this shows us our customers and what we do for the industry. There are no sport teams which is a bit disappointing given how many work at the site.
9a. Would you recommend Syngenta to a friend?
Syngenta is a large well established company, one of the world leaders in crop protection manufacturing. They have a good site working culture and good perks for working with the company such as a good pension, cycle to work scheme and private health care. You are paid well for what you do, and feel safe.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Syngenta?
Do some research about the company and the wider processing industry. Familiarise yourself around risk assessments, how to deal with chemical hazards. Have examples of what you have done to make something safer, and when you have gone out of your way to do something when an issue has occured when carrying out a task.