[Live my apprentice life – episode 3/3] My first steps at Naval Group

15 September 2021 Human ressources Story

Almost a year has gone by since our four work-study students arrived at Naval Group (see episode 2), Mikaël, Charlotte, Rémi and Perrine. For some of them, an exceptional year has now come to an end and their second year begins in a few weeks’ time. For others, it’s the end of their training course and they will keep great memories of their experience.
And what skills have they acquired thanks to their training? And what have they set their eyes on next? Manon - our work-student at the Communication department - went to meet them for a final interview.

Bio express

Mikaël Abiven, 25 years old, Shipwright apprentice in Brest, as part of an Industrial Metalworker Technician (TCI) vocational baccalaureate. Duration of work-study training: 1 year.

Charlotte Dodelin, 21 years old, Production-Integration Coordinator apprentice in Cherbourg, as part of a Mechanical engineering and production degree.  Duration of work-study training: 3 years.

Mikaël Abiven, Naval Group

Charlotte Dodelin, Naval Group

Rémi Scherfling, 22 years old, Business Developer for R&D projects apprentice at Technocampus Ocean, as part of his second year of a master’s program in Strategic and operational marketing. Duration of work-study training: 1 year.

Perrine Ohayon, 20 years old, Prevention Advisor apprentice for Health and Safety at Work and Environment (H&SW/E) in Toulon, as part of a master's degree in Quality, Hygiene, Safety and Environment (QHSE). Duration of work-study training: 2 years.

Rémi Scherfling, Naval Group

Perrine Ohayon, Naval Group

What are the three most important skills that you have acquired during your apprenticeship?

Rémi: My work experience has improved my ability to summarise. I have also become more multi-skilled and I am now able to manage several projects simultaneously whilst still being able to identify the constraints or blocking points that could arise.

Mikaël: Being more conscientious and paying attention to detail, as our work usually requires a level of accuracy down to the nearest millimetre. The fact that we always work in tandem has also led me to be a better communicator.
I have also developed a high level of technical skills - reading technical drawings for example, which means being able to adjust to a space in order to carry out the work required.

Charlotte: I find speaking in public much easier. I am also much more independent after this year of training and I feel far more comfortable making decisions alone. I have learned the very specific terminology used in the company and in my working environment. It wasn’t easy at first but it is a skill that I’m now very happy to have acquired.

Perrine: Just like Charlotte, after spending a year in my job I now feel much more autonomous. This skill has enabled me to progress in project management: my tutor now confides me with jobs from A to Z. I start with a problem and solve it by contacting the colleagues whose help is necessary in order to do so. It’s a great way to improve your skills, become more mature and gain confidence in yourself. My job requires cross-functional skills and I’ve developed a lot them over the last year.

What, in your opinion, are Naval Group’s strong points in terms of hosting work-study students?

Rémi: All our colleagues are with us right from the start to provide help and support.  Everyone has always treated me and talked to me as an equal, and even when you are a student you’re given responsibilities. Lastly, I think that it is important to mention the work environment (such as the Technocampus Ocean) which shouldn’t be underestimated.  

Mikaël: Working in tandem with experienced employees gets us straight into the working atmosphere. And it’s great giving us the chance to feel really involved in a big project. I was lucky enough to take part in work at the start of the Full Cycle Docking (FCD) for the Terrible which included very diverse activities.  

Charlotte: Everyone pays attention to us, and the company takes care of its employees. The start of my time in the company was obviously complicated with the health crisis, but I was integrated into my team straight away, which is proof of how well the company looks after its work-study students.

Perrine: It’s really well organised! Whether it was my IT equipment, access to the site or to my office - everything was made available to me as soon as I arrived. Visiting the teams and having the company organisation chart really helps us to settle in and quickly become familiar with our working environment.

What is your best memory of the experience?

Rémi: During an assignment in Lorient, I was able to take part in receiving a new start-up to the site of Lorient and to work directly with the production teams to help facilitate their work. It was a chance to discover one of Naval Group’s production sites and to actually meet the teams with whom we usually distance-work.

Mikaël: I had the chance to take part in work to remove the dome on the Terrible. It was amazing to see and I got on well with all the team, which is really important in this type of work.

Charlotte: Loading the primary circuit onto a submarine. I was the only woman on the job and that made my very proud. It was incredible to see that everything comes down to the nearest millimetre! But I still have two years to live more great experiences.

Perrine: My visit on board the nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Suffren! Not everyone gets to do the same. It’s an extremely peculiar environment and was an extraordinary thing to do.

Which assignment did you like the most?

Rémi: We worked with the site of Nantes-Indret, the regional authorities and other partners on the infrastructures for the future new generation aircraft carrier (PANG). We got a really overall view of the region’s objectives as well as Naval Group’s needs.

Mikaël: I was able to go to l’Île Longue, a place I’d heard about in my previous job. I found the environment astonishing!

Charlotte: The production engineering work for crossing milestones: a phase which is rolled out over the long-term. I had a lot of responsibilities on this project and I felt that I was really trusted. That’s something that really helped me to mature on a personal and professional level.

Perrine: I really liked visiting all the workshops and meeting the employees there. The contact with the employees was really beneficial to me. It enabled me to familiarise myself with my environment and to start my second work-study year with a strong foundation.

What would you say if you had to recommend Naval Group to another work-study student?

Rémi: We are working on important subjects with long timelines that involve thousands of people. Taking part in major projects is a stimulating experience, especially when we are talking about submarines and surface ships!

Mikaël: Equipment is essential in my job. While I’ve been working at Naval Group, I’ve seen that we have everything we need. The company provides all we need to help us to work comfortably. During our work-study period we are encouraged to work alone and participate in works, never just observe. Its immersion training from start to finish!

Charlotte: It’s a company where we learn such a lot. I have been able to participate in some major projects over my three years of work-study and I’ve had the opportunity to take on a number of responsibilities in just a year. Naval defence is an incredible universe.

Perrine: I would tell them that it’s an exceptional, atypical and exciting sector with great opportunities for progress and career development. Naval Group is a company committed to well-being at work.