I worked at BAE Systems to see what the engineering jobs were like in there, i enjoyed all aspects to the work and community. I was given a tour of the site and shown how different each department can be too.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The programme is enjoyable as everything is new, so the tasks you are handed are all interesting. Also every team I have worked in so far have been extremely friendly, helpful and approachable which makes my time here much more relaxed. Also, as the work is based around such a fascinating vehicle interest is high.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I feel very privileged to be part of BAE Systems. They provide lots of opportunities to get recognised through various different events and reward schemes. As regards to value in the workplace, I feel as though all my placements have made me a valuable part of their team, and gave me my own responsibilities to provide work for customers.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
We receive a good amount of support at BAE Systems. There is always someone to talk to about various different things. Your assessor is always on hand to assist you with NVQ problems or hiccups with your PDR (Personal Development Review). Also there is plenty of support from people like HR and Occupational Health to make sure you are fit to work and the work provided is suited to you.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On a daily basis i was fairly busy however this could change from day-to-day depending on what the workload was and what meetings or other appointments at work myself or my supervisor had. They made sure i had extra work if they needed to shoot off to a meeting and i had almost finished work i was currently doing.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given as much responsibility as i wanted at BAE Systems. My supervisor was comfortable giving me work valued by the company but only if i felt i could handle the work given and if i knew what to do and felt comfortable asking questions and getting information from different people around the site.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Lots of new skills have been learnt throughout my apprenticeship. As a technician I have also been able to get involved with hands on activities taking part in two craft placements. This gives you a great understanding of what manufacturing looks like as a career. Also all the moving around allows you to broaden your knowledge on the company etc. People skills have also improved as you interact with people on a daily basis. I am currently heading towards the end of my first year HNC.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was a really good place to work, i felt as part of the team and that i could ask anyone any questions about either my work on general conversations. I was always asked if i wanted to have a break when the team went for one and it was nice to have a laugh and get along with my colleagues.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Pretty organised as everyone has an assessor who the meet on a regular basis to check up on progress being made. College days are one day a week set on a certain day. Both your onsite work and college work is clearly structured from the start so you know what you should be striving towards. Organisation of placements is generally very good with you finding out your next place of work a few weeks before you transfer which gives you time to introduce yourself to your new manager.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We are provided with sufficient support to do the job in hand, if you need any extra support there are plenty of people to talk to and ask advice about where to get the required support. Your assessors handle the majority of your onsite work and they provide support through regular onsite meetings discussing where you’re at and how you are performing in your new placement. My training provider and the company invested in my working at the company and also my time.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would love to have a full time job at BAE Systems as they provide great work for me which really interests me too. I may apply for a full time job there if i perhaps finish a degree at university first. At BAE it is possible to move work at different sites and also work your way around different departments too which interests me greatly.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are a few places to go outside of work and some of the employees i worked with go to the pub on friday afternoon's in the local area as they can finish at 12 on a friday and use their flexi time gained in the week to take friday afternoons off. This is a really good perk to the company and having the flexi time. A lot of the younger apprentices and workers also do this and often organise group events outside the company.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in the local area seems very fair and average i would say. There is nothing really expensive or really cheap in the local area and as well as houses there are many flats (some which are occupied by apprentices) which are available. The wages are fairly decent at BAE so the houses are more than affordable for some.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
there was some nightlife in the local area however if a group from work or department organised a night out it would usually be in a surrounding town with more clubs/bars to go too since there are just a few pubs and cafe's close to work. It's nice to have a couple of drinks with some of my co-workers though on a friday afteroon.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with outside events like charity work etc. Just in the first year of the apprenticeship you can get involved in things like Charity Challenge and Outward Bound. Charity challenge involves giving up some work time to help a designated charity with any problems they have. We got involved with transforming an overgrown hospice garden. Outward bound is a team building week where you go away up to the lakes taking part in activities to help bring you closer to the apprentices you work with, which promotes team work.