1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have a time table for my apprenticeship. I spend either 1,2,3,or 4 months in each department. There is 15 departments in my course. I have a list of jobs I need to complete in each department which must get ticked and signed off by the manager for that area. On a day-to-day basis, in the morning I would speak to the manager and ask what they wanted me to do for the day. At the moment I am in the PCB department in test. So far this week I have been testing two different boards using test rigs. My role is to learn about all of the areas of the factory and gain valuable skills in the process.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. Before starting Siemens I had no experience in engineering or manufacturing. I can now confidently undergo activities such as crimping and stripping wires, connecting wires, wiring in enclosures, mechanical sub assemblies, electrical assemblies, hand soldering, operating machinery such as the wave solder machine and a bansaw, integrating buttons in series to a circuit as a safety device, programming pcbs, varnishing pcbs, designing standard operational procedures for a department, assembling shelves, testing pcbs, and repairing pcbs.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the program a lot. Each department teaches me new skills which I can use even when i move onto a new department. Most of the people that work here are very friendly which makes Siemens a nice place to work in. My college course is challenging and it gives me a sense of achievement whenever I complete college work because of this. I enjoy both the being in work and the college course and I am eager to complete the course.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very well organised. As I mentioned before, I have a timetable for the 4 year apprenticeship. In this timetable, I spend a specified amount of months in each department. For example, for the first year of my course, I spent the first four months in 'Controller Cell' building the sub assemblies and undergoing cableform activities for the controllers. The next four months I spent in 'SAS cell' where I was assembling traffic lights and designing and constructing standard operational procedures for the department. For the final four months I was in 'PCB cell' where I built and tested pcbs.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a fair amount. Support is always there when I need it. There are many people I can go to if I need help. I have two mentors that I can go to about day-to-day problems if I need to. An example of this is when I started I asked them for help filling out my time sheet as I wasn't too sure how it worked. I can also always go to my manager for any problems I have.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The teachers at Bournemouth and Poole College provide me the correct amount of support that I need to complete my course. I know that if I am struggling I can always go to them and they will take their time in explaining things to me until I understand them fully. I also have their email addresses so if I doing work at home I can send them a message asking for help and they consistently respond promptly.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification I am doing is Level 3 BTEC in Engineering and Level 3 NVQ in Engineering. Both these courses have helped to me to understand all of the activities in an engineering work place. The BTEC consists of Drawing, Health and Safety, Business, Maths, CAM, and Electrical Principles. This gives me a wide range of knowledge. The NVQ allows me to document the activities I do in the workplace and ensures that I learn all of the skills I need to when I am at work because i cannot pass unless I show I have done jobs to meet the criteria. Both of my qualifications will help me to perform to a higher standard in 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.)
There is a pub crawl about every 6 months. Everyone at Siemens is invited to this and it is completed in a local town called Wimborne. There is also a work football team where they play in a league against other companies such as JP Morgan. There is also and annual Christmas work meal and party where all people that work from Siemens are invited to. There are various clubs as well such as jogging club where people go jogging during their lunch break.
9a. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
Siemens is a nice place to work at. Most of the people here are very kind. The factory is less noisy than other factories which helps gives a relaxed vibe to work. All of the managers are understanding and can easily be approached if a problem was to occur. Siemens also pay the national living wage across the factory which gives employees a fair pay for the work they do. Siemens also has a very good pension scheme which allows for workers to save money for their retirement.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
Depending on the job role you are going for, you might need certain qualifications. If working at Siemens is your goal then you might need to get an additional engineering or management qualification before Siemens will consider employing you. However, siemens are always looking for people eager to learn. Being consistently kind and nice to others is a must as this will ensure you fit in correctly. If you are applying for the apprenticeship role then you must show that you are willing to learn and that you will take your course seriously and the company will be investing money into you and they will want you to be worth their money.