1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a 3rd year apprentice I do 3 months rotations around different departments of the production line where I shadow the maintenance teams as they maintain the line running. For my qualifications I also write weekly logbooks about jobs I have done, and for each placement I complete a process related document to show my understanding of the processes in the area.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As I have previously studied engineered I already had a few skills relevant to this job. I had a chance to develop them and use them in a real life situation within the company. I am also often presented opportunities to learn new skills on day-to-day basis as different jobs come up. The company is always investing in new equipment and processes which I also get a chance to learn.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The first year can be a bit disappointing as we spend most of the time in the training school workshop. second and third year are better as we go on placements around the plant and obtain more technical knowledge. We also meet more people and are more involved in the business which is quite enjoyable.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is in constant change due to its length and amount of people and placements involved. Some changes happened during my time here and have made the apprenticeship better. It is now better structured and organised but it can be better; the people in charge areaware of this and are doing what is necessary for this to happen.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The employer is always present and we have regular meetings to discuss any important topics or the need of support. The managers also have an open door policy allowing us to communicate easily. Any problems are addressed to their best capabilities and with transparency. This has been improved in the last year of the apprenticeship.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The training provider is present within our Plant so we can easily communicate with them and feedback any problems encountered. We recently had problems with a teacher which was addressed with delay but ultimately it has been solved. This caused a delay in our qualification but we are working on catching up now that the issue has been resolved.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualifications themselves are directly linked to my role in the company and provides me good background knowledge for the job. The practical qualification done in the first year is crucial as we learn how to weld, turn, build electrical circuits etc. The theoretical qualifications (BTEC L3 and HNC) are very relevant but lack the link with the real world so that we can find real applications for the topics learnt.
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.)
This has been a struggle recently due to the pandemic; however, there are always activities happening within the company that we can get involved. I was recently involved in a "Stay active" event where multiple participants donated money to a charity and took part in a little competition to encourage physical activities.
9a. Would you recommend BMW Group to a friend?
BMW group is a large company that has done really well through the pandemic and brexit and has always ensured that this is a safe place for apprentices. We are valuable and looked after. On top of that, wages are quite high and there are other benefits such as car scheme and discounts. The learning curve during the apprenticeship is very steep and we get a chance to develop social skills and network with multiple people.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BMW Group?
The academic entry requirements are fairly low for the Level 3 apprenticeship but higher grades in GCSEs or Level 3 courses can make you outstand. Skills such as communication, organization and initiative are very important and can determine how well you do in the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship itself is quite long and requires a lot of investment from us such as time and dedication, but it is worth it.