1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The job title is an apprentice in Axle Concepts and Chassis Systems Integration. This is a subsection of the wider 'Chassis' section of Jaguar Land Rover. My day to day role is a loads data analyst. I run computer simulations to determine the loads on chassis components such as engine mounts, suspension parts and subframes, during different loading scenarios which are representative of the loading scenarios seen during real world driving. I interact daily with other members of the loads team to request and offer help in the work which we are completing, and also with higher up management when loads are due to be reviewed and released. I also interact with others in the company outside our team, as our customers come to us with requests for data which I will then be tasked to complete.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
So far I have completed a number of low level NVQs which have trained me in practical skills - namely milling, fitting and turning, as well as electrical and mechanical skills. These have enabled me to view the product creation and development in a different light, because I have been able to see the product creation process from a different angle. I am currently completing a foundation degree. This has taught me a number of things which have expanded my knowledge since leaving school, such as materials and manufacturing process, as well as automotive knowledge.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the program because of the job role which I am in. It gives me an opportunity to apply my maths and scientific knowledge to real life scenarios which once completed are of real benefit to the company.
4. How valued do you feel by Jaguar Land Rover?
I feel very highly valued by Jaguar Land Rover, as I have because a key part of a small team, which means that I have a high level of responsibility and job satisfaction.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is well structured. The first 2 years are used to complete a foundation degree, whilst gaining experience by working part time. The final 4 years of the apprenticeship are full time in work, with 6 one week blocks a year spent at warwick university studying for a BEng.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I do not receive very good support from my training provider (warwickshire college). They often neglect to answer emails which are written to request help or guidance with assignments. The teaching is not a satisfactory standard, with many lecturers having very little knowledge of the subject they are teaching - this means that they are not able to provide support and answer queries when they are asked.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support I receive from my employer is fantastic. I have an industrial training manager who meets with me every 6 weeks to discuss my progress and any concerns which I have with college or with work. I am also reviewed every 6 months with by my work manager, where I have the opportunity to feedback any comments or criticisms that I have, and enables me to view my progress and see the ways in which I can continue to progress. The team I work in are very willing to help me learn and support me in all the tasks which I do.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary/package is class leading. I am paid very well - enough as a single 19 year old to have purchased my own flat and car and easily pay the mortgage and save over £500 a month. My course fees are all paid for, as is any additional training which I require. This means that I will not have any university debt as it is all funded.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many team events organised by my manager to enable stronger team building, such as team meals etc for a more informal chance to get to know the people I work with every day. I have a lot of work to do outside of my working hours with my foundation degree, but by being well organised I still am able to have a lot of free time to relax.
9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Because of the wonderful opportunity is presents to start a career in engineering before becoming fully qualified with a degree. I am able to work along side graduate engineers who have spend their past 3 years (and a large sum of money) at university, whilst I can only just come out of school, and I am able to directly compete with them and complete the same work which they do. It enables me to learn skills which are relevant to the workplace, and gives me great experience which is a highly valuable asset.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover? *
I would recommend brushing up on your mathematical skills, because these are highly valued at Jaguar Land Rover, because engineering is such a maths focussed profession. Practical experience is also of key importance, so I would recommend taking as many opportunities as possible to gain practical experience and to improve your practical skills, because this is also highly valued. Spend a long time thinking of the best examples you can possibly give in the application process questions - not only will this further your chances of getting a job, but it will also really help you to think of great examples to give in your interview process. If you can't think of really good examples of times when you have completed engineering related tasks, then now is your time to go out and get some real world experience to help develop you into a better prospective engineer.
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