1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Currently as part my Out of Time apprentice placement, my day to day activities involve a variety of different tasks ranging from writing and reviewing documents to conducting structural stress calculations and analysis. This requires me to have regular interaction with my coworkers, both internally and externally with my department and others. I regularly have interactions with the design engineers to consult on specific design and stress parameters surrounding components.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt and developed a multitude of skills through the four years of the apprenticeship. This includes, but not limited to, communication, Maths and English, IT, and problem solving. In addition to this, in the first year of the apprentice, all apprentices learn basic engineering skills and knowledge such as fitting, machining, CAD, Carbon fibre, and electronics.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Joining BAE Systems Advanced Engineering Apprentice has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The work is varied, engaging and interesting depending on which departments you enter throughout the four year apprenticeship course in addition to having great coworkers and support staff. I have enjoyed majority of my time throughout the apprenticeship.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship is highly organised and structured, from the first moment you join the company to the last where you're coming out of your time as a full qualified engineer. Throughout the experience there is a variety of help from training staff and coworkers, in addition to a thoroughly planned out apprenticeship programme.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As said previously, the support received from training staff, early careers and coworkers is phenomenal. They are always willing to aid and guide apprentices through difficulties and challenges throughout the apprenticeship. They truly care for their apprentices and the apprentice training and aim to give high quality training and experiences as possible.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Our college training providers are generally helpful when dealing with assignments when working towards our Level 3 and HNC qualifications. They can assist with any questions posed to them and provide any necessary support when needed. In addition to our college training providers, our training staff on site are always willing to assist with an NVQ question and difficulties that my present themselves throughout the apprenticeship.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Our qualifications are directly tailored towards our engineering roles and give us the necessary knowledge and skill base to perform well. Our apprenticeship consists of a Level 3 NVQ in Engineering Technical Support as well as providing Level 3 and HNC qualifications in Mechanical Engineering. All provide relevant knowledge and skills required for our engineering roles.
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 part of the engineering apprenticeship programme, all apprentices are signed up as STEM ambassadors to help promote STEM subjects and jobs within schools and to potential engineers. As part of this, we attend events such as school open evenings, careers events and more. In addition to this, departments tend to organise inter-departmental team building events such as football matches and go kart races.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
This apprenticeship has been highly enjoyable with a variety of different jobs and challenges with interesting work. The apprenticeship provides experience and skills for anyone that's interested in engineering and STEM. In addition to this, the BAE Systems apprenticeship boasts a highly competitive apprentice wage and benefits on top of the qualifications and skills that are provided.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
For anyone thinking of applying to the apprenticeship, please do your research on the company and the apprenticeship which you are applying to. Many people fall at this hurdle and are unsuccessful because they haven't prepared enough. As well as this, don't be deterred if you don't get in the first time as many apprentices have gotten the job on their second or third attempts, so keep trying!