As a Level 6 Control Engineer Apprentice, I currently work alongside the maintenance team here at MINI Plant Oxford. Like a few of my peers, I planned to go to university once I finished school. But I was unsure if studying full-time was for me. With my apprenticeship here at MINI, I can study for my degree whilst obtaining real experience of working life. Being paid and having BMW Group pay my university fees has also been a huge benefit.
Though I’m based at MINI Plant Oxford, I recently had the opportunity to spend three months working at MINI Plant Swindon. It was great to learn how they operate in different facilities, and then use the new processes, techniques, and knowledge I’d acquired in Swindon to then improve my work here in Oxford.
Your development is constantly being followed, which is great. We have the opportunity to move from one department to another and write detailed reports about each one. Writing these reports has provided me with an in-depth knowledge of the whole business and my respective role within it. My understanding and knowledge of both the industry and BMW Group itself has undoubtedly improved as a result.
The most interesting project I have worked on so far is when I was tasked with changing one of the 1,200 robots used to weld each part of the cars together. I worked alongside the Control Engineers to strip the robot down and effectively rebuild it from scratch. It was a tough job, but a great learning experience.
BMW Group are supportive of all their apprentices. Everyone understands that, as apprentices, we’re here to learn. But you’re always treated – and trusted – like any other member of the team. Sometimes my colleagues and managers have been happy to watch me start a task, identify a fault, and fix an issue all on my own, without having to offer any advice or correct me. Being trusted like that really boosts your confidence and makes you think, “Yes, I can definitely do this.”
Control Engineer Apprentice, MINI Plant Oxford