Specialist Science Apprenticeship - Non-Destructive Testing at Rolls-Royce

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£15,300 annually
Review Date:
April 2016

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I am a non-destructive testing apprentice, and as such am involved in both the workfloor side of processing and inspecting of components for defects, as well as the office side where controlling documents are created along with development research. I specialise in 5 different disciplines of liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, ultrasonics, eddy current and radiography. I'm being trained up in both experience hours and theory to achieve an EN4179 qualification in each. Examples of projects are improving a process line, researching how to remove contaminants that reduce efficiency, and developing new ways to inspect certain areas of components to check for defects.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I've learn all about the five disicplines and have theory qualifications in EN4179 in the five. I'm also working towards the practical hours which when achieved will award the full EN4179 qualification. These hours range from 400 to 1000 required depending on the discipline, with a total of 3,550 needed for all 5 qualifications. I'm also being put through university at Sheffield Hallam to study Materials Engineering, part-time working from a Fd to a BEng. I've completed a BTEC and am completing an NVQ in support of my apprenticeship simultaneously. On top of NDT related courses, I've been sent on a wide range of courses for presentation, safety and creative thinking.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I greatly enjoy my time on the program, due to the variety of tasks and the magnitude of challenge. I can work a full project on my own, from idea conception through to testing through to the final report creation, giving me a great understanding of how operations work within the company as well as developing a range of skills.

4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?


I've unfortunately had bad luck with health a few times during my program, and all those times Rolls-Royce has been more than supportive. Adapting how and where I work, as well as respecting time I needed of, has left me feeling very valued. Fair pair for apprentices and good holidays are also very appriciated.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


Due to starting in April, previously not done for apprentices, the structure was not as comprehensive as it could have been. Planning for the change in intake month from the usual September was not completed which led to excessive moving about for myself between sites originally. This has since settled down, and I am fortunately in a position now where all my aims, objectives and requirements are clear.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


My ADL (apprentice development leader) has been very supportive, however due to the large number of apprentices they look after it can take time to sort issues. In terms of support, I cannot ask for more. In terms of punctuality there is room for improvement.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I have a large amount of support from my employer, through the various managers I will work under as well as work colleagues and mentors. This is in NVQ and Uni completion, NDT experience, career guidance and more. If I ask for help it will be provided.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary covers living costs but does not give room for creating savings. For an apprenticeship it is fantastic, I do not have a worry of being unable to afford bills.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


Both work related (such as the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing) and socially (such as the Apprentice and Graduate Association) there are opportunities. I have volunteered personally to represent the company in media as an apprentice, which was an opportunity suggested to all, as well as being a member of the AGA and a subscriber to the Rolls-Royce gym.

9a. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

It has great career prospects, looks after its employees, pays a respectable wage and gives many chances for skill progression. I have and am enjoying my time here immensely.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce? *

Do not relax when it comes to grades, work hard. Look up ways to take your love for engineering and science outside of school as it is a great indication of passion in an applicant. You will get out what you put in to Rolls-Royce, work hard and you will be rewarded well.

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