1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a second-year apprentice we spend one day at Warwick Trident College, and four days in plant. I have moved out of the AVA CAD department and into CoC, where I am working on company projects that contribute towards programme. Previously to this I was enrolled on the 'accelerated learning programme' for six months where apprentices were given intensive training to gain a baseline of real-life engineering knowledge that is needed in order to move into new departments.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The 'accelerated engineering programme' gave me a breadth of new skills that are needed for real-life engineering. Moving from textbook, classroom-based learning to vising manufacturing plants, undertaking training courses and working alongside experienced engineers is daunting, but the course helped this transition as I learnt about how to design, fix, locate, manufacture and assemble a part from scratch.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme to the extent that I know that it is a fantastic career move. I probably enjoy the course less than other people due to it not being the same as I originally applied for and not in a field that I love. This being said, the apprentice team have really listened (and taken into account my skills and interests) to this, and have put me in a role best suited to me. Since this move happened I have been enjoying the course much more.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The body engineering course is very well organised and structured. I have found that day-to-day there was often a lot of miscommunication or lack of tasks, but that is largely due to the changes that Jaguar Land Rover undertook once VR was rolled out across the company. The spare time was actually beneficial to help us finish college work, so nobody complained.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from managers and the apprentice team has been second to none. They have dealt fantastically with my own, and my friend's problems and really take into account your wellbeing. I wish the same could be said of the college, but unfortunately there is not the same level of care.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Managers will set aside time for you to work on your college work, and understand the high demands of the course. Often Fridays are offered to work on your studies, but should exams or assignments be due imminently they will let you take time out of programme work to ensure that you are going to perform to the best of your ability
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The foundation degree and practical workshop skills act as a great foundation to build on during the apprenticeship. I don't know how well they will set us up for university, but it has been good having the practical knowledge and classroom-learnt skills as we have started in plant. Some of the lessons seem unnecessary or basic, and some are too difficult and too badly taught, but the knowledge gained overall will help us in the future. Although not directly required in our job roles, the workshop practicals gave us an understanding on how things are manufactured, and were taught impeccably.
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 don't participate in any extra curricular clubs, but I believe that there are sports teams and other groups available to join. I have however used the ELS scheme, which gives you £250 before tax to spend on learning new extra curricular skills. Skills you can spend this on vary from painting classes, to off-road driving and day trips.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?
Despite not loving my job you cannot deny how the benefits, pay and experience far outweigh going to university and getting into debt. Getting a free degree and six years experience by the time most of your peers are one/two years out of uni is invaluable, especially in this competitive climate. At the end of the day, the apprenticeship will give you more opportunities and a head-start in your working life. There is also room for placements and moving about if what you're doing isn't exactly for you, which is what I'm doing.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?
On our intake only 1 in 70 got in. The course is highly competitive, and remains so whilst you're here. The online testing and assessment centre days are rigorous and draining, but as long as you prepare thoroughly and read up about the company before hand you should be able to put your best foot forwards with confidence.