1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
At the moment I am at college on Monday's and Tuesday's and at work for the last three days of the week, as I have only been here around six months and because of the nature of the site I am shadowing CPT's on plant and getting an idea of what the job entails, I am also being allowed to do some jobs under supervision such as sampling, tankers, doing jobs on plant and on the panel just to name a few. People on plant have been helping me out a lot and giving me good insight into the jobs of a CPT and I am picking it up fairly quickly. CPT's daily jobs are anything to do with running the plant in a safe manor, this includes following the sequence on the system and doing other jobs necessary for the process to continue.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As I have never worked somewhere like this before I have developed some basic skills but also learnt new skills. I have developed skills such as my teamworking, communication and leadership skills whilst going on my induction training and whilst working as a team on plant. I have also gained new qualifications in IOSH and other city and guilds passed units. I have also gained new skills which are specific to this workplace, such as breaking joints correctly and knowing how to spot hazards on site. During my apprenticeship I will also pick up an NVQ level 3 qualification and a city and guilds qualification.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme and think its a good balance between work, college and NVQ. I have good support from the team around me and have met many people on site willing to aid my learning and to support me as much as they can. Since beginning the apprenticeship I've been shown how the site is like a community, there is a very friendly culture on site which is why I felt so welcomed when starting. This apprenticeship exceeds my expectations as I am being trained extermely well whilst forming good relationships with people all around site.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We began with a 3 week induction which was planned fully and printed and given to us. This gave us an itinery for every hour of the 3 weeks so we were fully aware of what was going to be happening. We also have a 3 year training programme which is for whilst we are at work, showing all of the placements we have over the apprenticeship and when they begin and end. A similar format is used for college, we have lesson plans for the three years ahead and are fully aware of where we need to be at what stages of the year. NVQ assessments are every month and we have a table with dates of these so we have a goal date to have the NVQ units ready. We are regularly monitored through meetings with our manager, this is where we catch up on progress with college, NVQ and work on plant. Asking what we have learnt and if any issues are occuring. Overall this apprenticeship is very well organised as we all know what is going to be happening every day for the next three years.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I recieve vast amounts of support from my manager and the team around the apprenticeship. I am regularly asked about how we are doing informally and feel happy to walk into my managers office regarding anything i may need help with. We also have formal meetings every 6 weeks whereby we fill out a self-assessment form and go through this with our manager, this includes what we've been up to on plant and how were doing with NVQ and college. I have strong guidance from my manager and feel supported, it is made clear to us that they are always open to be spoken to.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
We recieve a good level of support at college from our tutor, support is easily accessible and guidance is always there. There is a good attitude towards teaching and learning from both sides and it is enjoyable.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I believe work done at college is easily applied to the workplace which makes me more motivated to learn the content well at college and notice things on plant which we have learnt about at college. The tutors at college will tell us applications to our workplace which means that we can carry this knowledge into the workplace.
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.)
As an apprentice at Syngenta we do many extra-curricular activities, these inlude trips to CATCH, outward bounds and jealotts hill. These are used to both make people learn but also as a teambuilding activity. Other events are broadcasted around site via email including barbeques, fundraisers etc. If people are leaving the site, all on site are also invited to attend leaving drinks.
9a. Would you recommend Syngenta to a friend?
It is a really good apprenticeship which is well structured, gives you plenty of knowledge and entertainment. You are part of a wider community at work where most people know eachother. You are treated well and get a contract from day one with a good pay.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Syngenta?
Go into your interview and be yourself, they don't want a robot that has revised the website, just someone eager and friendly.