1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
my role is to follow my experienced colleges around and to learn from them. the nature of my job is maintenance so we do ppm (planned product maintenance) while we are quiet and then do the bigger more exciting jobs as the problems occur. i plan my day by picking the mentor with the most interesting job for my development.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am a dual skilled apprentice, so I have been working on both my mechanical skill set and my electrical skill set. With the mechanical skill set, I have learnt how to take apart gear boxes and repair them, I have also worked on my machinist skills and have made parts up on the lathe.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy coming in each day as there is a variety in what we do. My fellow colleagues are fun to work with and helpful in building my skill set. I enjoy spending time with my colleagues and look forward to the Christmas drinks, and other various functions.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is very loosely structured, I have been giving the criteria I need to tick off for my qualification and find jobs for. It has been left to me though to talk to my colleagues to see what jobs are on and what is beneficial to my books. At the start of the apprentice program, we was told those who got a distinction at college would be able to go forward and do the HNC/HND, Thames has since changed their mind and do not offer the program which is very annoying.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My line manager is very helpful to me, because of the covid 19 crisis he sourced me a company van so I could carry on working safely. I know if I have concerns I can go to him about them. I did go to my line manager about the HNC and he supported me in trying to get me on the program.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider smart assessor meets up with me regularly to discuss my progress and set goals so I stay on track. In the meetings, we talk about further training I could benefit from, tools that I could do with ordering and jobs that would be appropriate for my books.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
to attempting to get the qualification from the training provider we have to tick off a wide variety of jobs and some of those are very rare for me to do in my day to day, so the qualification forces me outside my comfort zone to get those jobs done.
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 have been to the pub with everyone when the last apprentice came out of his time and we all had a great time, there have been previous group trips to go karting, but I have yet to attend one of these. The Christmas dinner at the local pub is particularly fun day at work.
9a. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
there is a good work to home life balance here. The company pays for any tools that you may need which is a very helpful perk. If you work at multiple sites or are on call you will be given a van which is great and my line manager will book me on any course that is beneficial to my learning and development.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
embrace the four years you have as an apprentice as a time to learn. don't fall into the trap of sitting on your phone when it's quiet, because there will be jobs there, you just have to go and speak to your colleagues and find out what jobs they are doing today. or use the quiet to speak to the older more experienced members and try to learn from them.