1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Project Management Higher Apprentice. I am studying for a Foundation Degree in Project management whilst also completing an NVQ Level 4 in Project management. I have also received my APMP, recognising me as a practitioner of Project Management. My programme is set up so that I do 6, 6 month placements in different areas of the business, ranging from Defence Aerospace to Marine, ensuring that I get breadth and an understanding of how the company operates. On a day to day basis I am responsible for a series of real projects, usually which are within a much wider programme. In my 6 month placements I will be expected to manage and deliver a variety of projects ranging from engine and facility builds to creating and improving processes. I have very senior exposure often having to report to senior programme managers and programme executives. Some of my roles have also been customer and supplier facing so having experience here has been invaluable. I have also had to work with many different functions and teams, locally and globally, ranging from engineering to logistics.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have completed and am in the process of completing several external qualifications, such as my APMP, NVQ level 4 in Project Management and a Project Management Foundation degree accredited by APM and delivered on behalf of Lancaster University. I also have an internal training plan which includes general courses such as presentation skills, personal integrity and excellence in project management, whilst also including other specific courses to the company. I have learnt an incredible amount about myself and how a business like ours operates.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy many aspects of my programme; the work is always very exciting and varies from day to day. The teams I have worked in both professionally in placements and in learning have always been very supportive and helpful if I ever needed any help or support. Lastly the company culture has been great and most people’s views on apprentices are just like any other employee and we are treated no differently which is great. I didn’t really know what to expect from the work environment and my apprenticeship but it has exceeded any I did have.
4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?
I feel very valued and am treated as a normal employee given real tangible objectives with outcomes that are required for the business or project to go forward. I have never felt like an outsider or that I was contributing to the company’s success. I have regular meetings and feedback from my managers telling me what was good and what I can do to be better.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction was fairly well organised, I was told where I needed to be and when. However the role as described to me at the start in terms of working location was not very well organised, I did not apply to one specific location I only applied to the apprenticeship, I was then asked informally of the location I would prefer in a telephone interview, unaware of the consequences and what my answer would mean for me I chose based on the area I would prefer to relocate to. I was then told a year into my scheme that I would stay in that location for the period of my apprenticeship which was not something I had wanted to do I wanted to have the ability to move around. Luckily I have a very good scheme manager who has helped me with this.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider has not met my expectations and has been a little disappointing. It is worth noting when I refer to my training provider I mean the college who are delivering my foundation degree not the internal team who manage training courses etc. there have been many changes in teaching and course leaders throughout my time which has been extremely unsettling. Being that I also have to travel to attend university sometimes I had felt that it was not worth it. I feel they have tried to help and be supporting but it has not really made me feel at ease.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is very good at giving me support. I have a network of people around me who are there should I have any concerns, questions or need advice. I have a buddy in the year above me to help with practical things day to day. I also have a career coach who is a senior employee within the organisation, someone who I can relate to and ask higher level career questions and ask for advice. I then also have my scheme manager who does my reviews and always there to help with any and all queries I may have.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Due to the fact I had to move out of home and relocate to another area and pay rent, the salary and package I was given was very tight and was a struggle. I received no help in costs for moving or relocating something which I feel needs to change if you want to attract high calibre individuals from up and down the country. The package I received would have been fine should have lived at home and not pay any bills. Of course it was nice receive a salary and getting paid to learn, which was the main attraction of an apprenticeship however I often found myself struggling when it came to making my money last and then having some if any left to enjoy.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company offer many opportunities outside of work, things include going to Ari Shows getting involved in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) activities. Furthermore there are numerous sports clubs and social events throughout the calendar year to get involved in such as golf tournaments, charity ball’s and football clubs, all of which I have attended and thoroughly enjoyed.
9a. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a fantastic opportunity to get paid whilst you learn. Working for such a large organisation is great for opportunity and surrounding yourself with incredible knowledge and people who are experts in their field. It is also a great sector to work in, very fast paces and constant excitement.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce? *
Make sure you apply for the role you are most interested in and want to potentially become a practitioner / expert in. Show your passion for the company and the sector(s) in which we operate. Have a think about where you would like to be based geographically and this does not have to be near home! be confident in your ability and have an open willingness to learn and grow as an individual.
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