Apprentice at Schneider Electric

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
Review Date:
July 2020

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


Writing emails, taking phone calls. Learning different departments such as Industrial Engineering and Logistics. The training of different departments is quite poor as the company is very much focused on hitting production targets and not about training staff.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have learnt about MV switchgear and the electrical grid as well as time management and skills on software. The first year is solely based in the factory which is quite boring as the production line tasks are very simple but little training is given which reduces employee morale and reduces quality of the product. But as I said earlier the company is very focused on hitting the production target.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I do learn things on the program but the company gives very little training for job roles and quality is third to production targets then costs. This is scary as the products built here are safety devices used on the electrical grid, so they must operate as expected. Although the department teams are nice.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The program has a very basic structure of 2 years. 1 year in the factory, 1 year in the office having 1 month to 2 months in every department. I believe this structure is poor as the factory tasks are very mundane and nothing is learnt other then basic assembly. 1 to 2 months I believe is not enough time in each department, as it takes a few for the teams to involve you.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


The company seems happy to support me and my manager usually asks how I am, but you are kind of left on your own in some departments and used as an extra worker that is not counted for in the efficiency so it makes the department look better. The company does have a HRBP but she typically only interacts with senior management.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


The training provider is quite poor. We've had numerous teachers as previous ones keep on leaving the college. The tutors have very basic knowledge of engineering and can't teach specialist subjects such as CAD. The college gives very basic support and makes of fuss of it when you bring anything up. It's much easier to research the assignment topic at home on youtube then learning from the college.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


As the teaching at the college is so poor I typically use the internet at home and on the weekends to learn about the topic from various sources such as YouTube and electrical engineering portal. But what I'm learning at college is doing very little for making me perform better in my work tasks as the tutor is frankly clueless and the best tutor we had was fired.

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 believe the company for the UK does have some extra-curricular activities but due to bad communication it sometimes doesn't get to everyone and been a manufacturing plant (mostly assembly line) we very rarely do activities outside of work. We do sometimes have apprentice and graduate away days or weeks which can be good but they are few and far between and it's mainly focused on the degree apprentices.

9a. Would you recommend Schneider Electric to a friend?


9b. Why?

It depends on what part of the Schneider the friend wants to work. The manufacturing side is totally driven by costs and meeting production targets so training and quality as well as overall employee morale becomes very low and people do not enjoy work. On the other side Schneider has employee's who travel around the UK such as services department. But the real engineering is done abroad because it's cheaper. India and Germany.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Schneider Electric?

Choose a degree level apprenticeship if you can as the Intermediate and Higher apprenticeships are based at one site while the degree apprentices get to travel to different Schneider sites and learn with very experienced employees. Most engineering such as CAD and design engineering is done abroad and the UK sites act as panel builders and do basic schematic drawings. My higher apprenticeship is based in factory and office which I find boring. Like sites.

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