1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work as part of the Highways Division at Mott MacDonald. As part of this role I assist Highways Engineers with calculations, surveys, form completion and CAD work. Most of my work is done in Highways Maintenance but I have done other work as well.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt so much about highways. Before starting at Mott MacDonald I just thought a road was a bit of tarmac on the ground but as I have learnt over my time here it is much much more. Since starting with the company I have not learnt many new skills but have definitely furthered my knowledge and have developed a lot in my CAD work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The team at Mott MacDonald take a lot of care for all their employees even the Apprentices. They have always taken my view into consideration and have always offered me advice where I need it. They always want to make sure I learn and won't just give me boring useless tasks to undertake. In my time at Mott MacDonald I have definitely learnt a lot but my day release at college is completely different. Although I can say I love my job and where I work the college day release is awful and the college really lets down my apprenticeship programme. Mott MacDonald try their hardest to work around the poor education but overall the college drags down the apprenticeship.
4. How valued do you feel by Mott MacDonald?
In one word, extremely. It doesn't matter what grade you are at Mott MacDonald but they value all their employees. As a employee owned company it make Mott MacDonald value their staff as they are what makes the company. They are always looking to further your career and offer you advise where you need it!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There is room for improvement here especially on the college side of things. Southampton City College is the most disorganised place I have ever had to work in and it makes your qualification extremely hard to get. The company does a better job but since joining the company I have been doing mainly highways maintenance work. Although I am about to be moved to the environment team for a month it would be nice if there was more rotation for apprentices so they get a better experience of what the company does.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The college is always trying to pick up the slack from their teaching. They are always behind on work and it makes learning extremely difficult. I am very concerned I may not finish the course due to the colleges appalling organisation which puts me very behind in my work. They do offer some support trying to make up for their mistakes but overall their lack of organisation and teaching quality makes it very hard for the college to offer decent support.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Mott MacDonald is always trying to pick up the slack of my college. They always make sure everything is going at least slightly to plan at college. They try to offer any assistance they can as they know of the difficulties the college has put me under.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
From a apprenticeship point of view they salary is well above average. If I am comparing it to my costs though it can be a struggle. As there aren't many civil engineering apprenticeships in the UK you tend to have to look quite far for your apprenticeship. This is mainly due to a lack of training providers meaning companies only near to the training providers can take on apprentices. This means I have had to take a job in Southampton despite living in Portsmouth. This means I have to spend quite a lot of my earnings on commuting and needed to learn to drive as well which was a big expense for me. Its not enough money to live off of and I have hoped to move out and live closer to work but the salary I am on now would be enough for me to do that.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Mott MacDonald has an excellent sports and social team. They are always coming up with great one off events for their employees and consistent weekly activities. Their experiences can range from football at lunchtimes to beer festivals and theatre productions. They also have an excellent charity programme meaning they can offer lots back to the local community.
9. Would you recommend Mott MacDonald to a friend?
The company take great care of their employees and always encourage career progression and learning. Since I have joined Mott MacDonald I have learnt so much and can safely say I could bore my friends and family to death about roads now. To me this shows the company is doing their job right as I can obviously show I have learnt a lot with them. They don't just give their apprentices boring jobs and useless tasks and I feel like I am actually offering the company something useful.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Mott MacDonald?
Mott MacDonald understand apprentices are just apprentices and aren't expected to know everything. What they want from their apprentices is someone who will fit into their team and is willing to learn. Just make sure you have enough knowledge to pass simple Maths and English. Then all you need to do it make sure you come across as an outgoing and sociable individual who's willing to learn during your interview and I'm sure they are likely to consider you for the apprenticeship.
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