1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Working at Cowes - Software development for a file management system. - Building of a RC boat that raced against other companies - Trials on R&D technology
Portsmouth Naval Base (Civil) - Working with a laser scan to create a 3D model of a dock - Organising purchase of nearly 4.5km worth of electrical cable. -Presenting the business justifications to senior management and the customer. - Contacting suppliers and getting a full price break down.
Portsmouth Naval Base (Design Services) - New placement, creating electrical design drawing - Implementing the designs - Quality checking that the fitters have correctly installed the designs.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, when I first started in Cowes I knew nothing about programming in C#.I was able to get well underway in creating a file management system that had to complete a significant amount of data manipulation before being able to be inputted into the database. I have had previous experience using AutoCAD before but I am being able to use my previous training to complete designs in this industry. I had never used Autodesk Revit before. Although there was a lot of trial and error I was able to create a model that did eventually look similar to the dock. More work was required to ensure that accuracy was correct.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy being in the work environment. I enjoy learning new things that I can actually identify being of use to a company. Whereas with college I am sometimes confused by the curriculum this is because I can't identify the link between the curriculum and the work place.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Very valued. We are included in the yearly bonus review which is determined by how many stretch tasks have been completed by Maritime Services. Central BAE have also offered a non cash bonus which was very generous. The only time I don't feel so valued is when there have been previous trust issues which are pass back down to us. They are also extremely generous when it comes to compassionate leave, makes life a lot easier when it comes to a sad and upsetting point in life.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Due to complications within the program organisational chain I think the program has been a bit 'clumsy'. I believe this has happened because I am included in the first year of a big apprentice intake. I think the lessons will be learnt and the program will run smoother.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
When you go and ask for help most of the lectures are more than happy to help. This can be difficult though as we are only at college one day a week.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Everyone at BAE seems extremely passionate about their jobs and are more than happy to pass on their skills to the apprentices. My direct employer is great with any issues that arise and will always be happy to listen to any issues that are occurring at home or at work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As we are based at college full time for the first year I think the pay is very generous. Considering we have year pay reviews with a midyear bonus I have no complaints about my salary.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In terms of STEM activities there is a lot to do. Some apprentices really enjoy doing them and other are more willing to take a step back. I personally really enjoy helping out with task that are both related and non-related to engineering.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
There is so much variety of work. Being able to rotate around placements every 4-6months ensures that you get a taste of everything. Also being able to gain the HNC and HND in Engineering for free and being paid at the same time is so valuable.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
No matter what kind of engineering you are interested in BAE Systems has it. From civil engineering, maintaining the Naval Base, increasing the infrastructure and much more. To working on microelectronics, that just looks like a bit of dust on a circuit board. BAE Systems will find a place you a place where you enjoy working.
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