1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I look after the manufacturing equipment and keep it running during production. This can involve daily maintenance schedules or breakdowns - which is when a machine stops and needs fixing as soon as possible. Alongside this I am apart of process improvements, which can happen when there is a quality issue or where a cycle time improvement is needed.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During the 4 years of this apprenticeship I have learnt lots of different skills that can be applied to a range of industries. The skills include control engineering knowledge/programming, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. I use these all on a daily basis, always learning something new that helps me for any future experiences.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have enjoyed the learning when I am at work, since there is a good amount to study and improve myself on. At college the subjects I learnt were interesting, however I could not apply many of them at my workplace. A few did, such as PLCs which are a control device used across industry.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program has improved in its organisation and plans on placements around the workplace are very good now. There is a clear training program for all apprentices who may be working on the manufacturing lines, which helps familiarise them with the machines used. The college has improved over the years and has done well to provide the college work over teams during the pandemic.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I got a lot of support from my employer. This came through a mentor that was given to me that had a good plan to improve my knowledge to get me as good as I can be for when I am fully qualified. Additionally, other members of different departments do a good job, by teaching me other skills that can come in useful.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
When I have a question, I will always get a good answer to my issue. This being said much of the work done is self study, which is the impression I got during lectures. However, I think the training provider should make use of textbooks for there programs. From past experience, knowing I can find answers to a problem in textbook is really helpful and nerve settling. Currently, it just seems you are expected to google all and any answers/questions, which isn't ideal when there is so much on the internet.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
As mentioned before, a few qualifications such as PLCs have helped with some foundation understanding for topics at work. However, some of it doesn't seem to provide a deep enough foundation for what is at work. This being said, all the topics are very transferable between different industries which is ideal if you are looking elsewhere for jobs.
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.)
Football charity events are held on a frequent occasions. There is also the apprenticeship promotion events that are held at the NEC, which is great for apprentices to talk to people directly about the workplace. There is also a gym that is accessible to everyone, which is good for social networking.
9a. Would you recommend BMW Group to a friend?
It is a very good experience to know what the manufacturing industry is all about. You learn a great deal of different topics that are all very interesting to study and learn. The qualifications and experience and invaluable on a CV no matter where you go to work. The pay is also good.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BMW Group?
Make sure you explain any engineering type hobbies that you may have in the interview. I would recommend doing Duke of Edinburgh, this helps out in the interview when talking about past teamworking experiences. This comes naturally from the hiking/map reading done, and all the different activities you do for the Skills, Practical and Voluntary sections of the award.