Vehicle factory worker

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Roy Evans is an engineering apprentice in Birmingham and sees this as the best route for him to become a qualified engineer.

Can you give a brief description of your work?

I am currently working in the body assembly department. Apprentices normally rotate departments every 3 months.

What does your job involve?

I am assisting model engineers in their day-to-day duties, which include solving quality issues that occur anywhere in the body assembly process. For example, a heater may need refitting to the vehicle body due to an incorrect bracket positioning. Once this occurs, an investigation takes place to see exactly where the problem is, what is happening and how it can be resolved quickly.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really. Every day is varied and we work on both active and preventative operations.

What equipment do you use?

I use computers, welding equipment, machinery, measurement tools and hand tools.

What was your route into this job as a vehicle factory worker?

As I had the required GCSEs, I applied here for an Apprenticeship and spent a day at their assessment centre. This consisted of an interview, an aptitude test and a team activity, together with some pre-work activity.

Why did you choose this type of work?

There are a wide range of interesting job opportunities available to an engineer in the motor industry, such as design, quality, testing and development. I compared myself with someone who followed the same apprenticeship in another type of company and realised this was my best option.

What training have you received?

I took seven months to complete the NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations while on a day release programme for my National Certificate. Currently, I'm completing an HNC in Engineering, NVQ Technical Services Level 3 and Key Skills Level 3. We also complete several training courses to be applied in the workplace.

What hours do you work?

I work from 7.30 am to 4.10 pm, but finish at 12.30 on Fridays.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the Apprenticeship training and the fact I can undertake further education whilst earning money and gaining valuable work experience.

What are the skills and qualities needed?

To get an Apprenticeship you should have a good education and a positive attitude. After that, professionalism, determination and good timekeeping are vital. Learn communication and presentation skills and always work in the interests of the company.

What are your long-term career goals?

Firstly, to gain a secure job within the company. Secondly, to move up the career ladder to management level. At the same time, I would like to continue my further education after my Apprenticeship to study for a Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Roy's route to his job as a vehicle factory worker

  • GCSEs.
  • National Certificate in Engineering.
  • NVQ Level 2 PEO (Performing Engineering Operations).

Roy's tips

  • Go for an Apprenticeship. You get a full education and valuable work experience – all with pay.
  • Only work in an organisation with good prospects and high standards.
  • Ensure you can work in a variety of fields within the operation, to expand on the diversity of experience.

Vehicle factory worker related jobs

  • Assembler (Light industry)
  • Engineering operative
  • Motor vehicle body repairer/finisher/builder
  • Tyre/exhaust fitter
  • Vehicle parts operative

Salary of a vehicle factory worker

  • Pay for trainees is usually around £8,500 for the first year.
  • Adult workers with two years' experience can earn up to £18,000, and more qualified manufacturing engineers can earn over £22,000.

How to become a vehicle factory worker

  • Trainees who want a career in production assembly normally join a manufacturers' training scheme.
  • Entry requirements and the style of training vary from company to company, so it's important to check on the details of the schemes. Many employers offer Apprenticeships.
  • Minimum age on entry is 16. GCSE results are taken into account when deciding on the level of entry. New entrants normally work towards NVQs/SVQs Levels 2 and 2 in Performing Engineering or Manufacturing Operations.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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