Follow the Diary of AIS's Most Recent Apprentice

Wednesday 13 August 2014

This is the diary of Michael Underwood’s experience as he goes through the AIS apprenticeship scheme run by the MOD and Kier.

Having spent over 12 months as a NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) Michael has now joined AIS as a new apprentice.

Entries are posted in reverse chronical order showing Michael's latest exploits at the very top.

Week Six

This week I’ve continued to work at the external client on their software systems, upgrading from a Microsoft Excel format to AIS Software’s specialist package. Today however, I’m back at AIS Head Office donning overalls and helping to strip out a new building, this will extend the company’s premises to well over 150,000 sqft. It’s really interesting to see the blank slate now, then comparing it to the state-of-the-art facilities next door that this building will become.

I am now at the end of this six week program on the Armed Forces Employment Pathway. I could describe my time in one word; challenging. Figuratively speaking I have worn numerous different hats such as CAD design with AIS Technical, Accounts and Admin, assisting with AIS Training and the Fabrication team not to mention working on the latest AIS Software programs with the external client.

Over six weeks I’ve changed considerably. I’m now eager to leave the house and more motivated to go into work. I’m confident in speaking to different people and building professional relationships. I’m also proud to wear a uniform and what that represents for all the other people that are dedicated to what they do at Advanced Industrial Solutions.

So, what next? I have been accepted for a place in university with onsite accommodation which I’m really pleased about. It’s just far enough away that anyone has to give me warning before showing up, giving me enough time to clear the dishes!

During university where I’ll be studying Aeronautical Engineering I hope to join the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Long term, I hope with them I’ll be able to become an aircraft technician.

After being here I am amazed by the range of industrial businesses and training right by my front door. I’ve had a great time!


Week Four & Five:

I have been based onsite for the last two weeks working with AIS Technical and their clients in East Howden. As this is a chemical and manufacturing plant it was important that I started the week with a safety induction and a tour of the facilities.

They took me through the history of the business and how it is changing from lead based manufacture to mixed materials. I was then helping with the computer systems that measures when a batch is complete. As well as being in a different environment and meeting new people I also learnt new skills in Microsoft Excel and reminded myself of the importance of maths!

This was really interesting and I could see myself doing something similar in the future as I think it’s an interesting and growing industry.

Week Three: I’m getting into AIS now, I know the people better and I’m experiencing different areas of the business. I thought spending time with accounts would be boring, but I was tasked with loads of different and incredibly random tasks, like measuring a fridge in their new onsite hotel!

Last night I went to the army reservists in Tynemouth, the 216th squadron, Royal Logistics Core. We were going through bush craft and radio etiquette which are some new skills I didn’t have before but that’s really interesting.

On my last day in AIS this week I had to perform in front of a camera! Something I’ve never done before which took me entirely out of my comfort zone. It was quite difficult as I couldn’t get my hands to stay still whilst they were filming! We’ve been told the film might be going into a presentation that David Cameron’s going to see! 

Week Two: It’s my first week at Advanced Industrial Solutions. Its nerve wracking going into a new place, especially as I’ve been out of work for a year. I was introduced to a lot of people on my first day, I can’t remember most of their names. For the rest of the week I attended two courses run by AIS Training. It’s been great to start getting into a routine again!

Week One: Otterburn Military Camp in Northumberland. This, our first week is a boot camp designed to build teamwork and increase our confidence. We have been put through drills and made to march in formation to meals. The highlight has been a flight in a Lynx Helicopter over Northumberland towards the coast. We also did a night camping in a BASH (British Army Sheltered Housing); a tarpaulin and no walls. One of our team was kidnapped during the night and the army taught us to set up checkpoints and patrols – we got our man back.

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