Specialist Science Apprentice (Laboratory) at Rolls-Royce

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£11,000 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:


Laboratory apprentice - I go on work placements in various laboratories throughout the company. Work is related to materials and special processes. It can be very varied, from supplier visits to office and production work. I am given projects to solve real business problems by the placement leader, often with a degree of autonomy.

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


I have learnt a huge amount regarding how the business operates and the processes they follow. The company regularly sends me on training courses. Some are health and safety requirements, but a lot are purely for personal and professional development

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I was initially disappointed as I had an image in my mind that the job role was perfect. I soon realised that this is not the case - there will be good and bad days. I think that this will be common to all apprenticeships though. Whilst it is not always the case, the majority of my work is interesting and intellectually stimulating. Hence, I now enjoy my role. The people within the company are very friendly and helpful. I am proud to work for the company itself.

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


The company takes a great deal of care over its apprentices. Most departments are very welcoming and keen to provide a good learning experience. Many things, like work uniform and a laptop, were provided.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The program I am on is relatively new. As a result, the people in charge are frequently changing their minds as to what is going on, and a lot of things seem a bit last minute. Whilst everything gets done in the end, I feel that the organisation is a bit lacking.

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


Training (Degree in materials engineering) is provided by Sheffield Hallam university. This training provider is very poor. The company is aware of the issues and currently considering changing training providers which is positive.

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


Managers organise frequent meetings to review progress. The department itself is keen to support their apprentices and increase learning. The training in the apprentice academy was very good. A lot of support was given by the tutors there.

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


The salary is considerably above the national minimum for apprentices. However, it is lower than what other big employers(eg JLR) offer. The base rate is enough to cover general living costs but not much more than that. Travel is usually paid well at 45p a mile, however travel to and from the university is not covered. This represents a significant cost at over £500 per year.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


AGA organises various events for those that want to attend. Options to join company sports teams like the rugby club. Various voluntary and charity initiatives on offer. STEM ambassadors

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


9b. Why? *

Offers a great way to get into a laboratory role, with the potential to go into materials R and D. Some of the departments visited would be very difficult to get into, even with a good degree. Pay, whilst not amazing, leaves you considerably better off than attending uni.

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

Be honest, include evidence of relevant interests/hobbies. Make CV look professional. Treat people on the assessment day as colleagues rather than competitors as all or none of you could potentially get hired. In team tasks, have an active role but don't try and take over. Factor in the cost of travel when considering if you can afford to take the job or not. Be aware that despite it being a good opportunity, it is not perfect.

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