1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a trainee on the Rolls-Royce Manufacturing Management Sponsored Degree Programme. This is an A-level leavers' traineeship designed to provide us with everything we need to become a shop-floor manager - what Rolls-Royce call a 'Production Leader'. This role is primarily based in the civil aerospace division of Rolls-Royce, where we manufacture large gas turbine engines (and smaller jet engines for corporate aircraft) and so is an exciting role since you are directly involved with the manufacturing of parts to be used in these engines. The programme is between 3 and 4 years long and you have a series of 6 month placements to be able to understand the business more widely, and prepare you for your final role as a Production Leader.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The scheme provides you with the time to study for a Master's Degree at the University of Warwick - MSc. Engineering Business Management. You will study on a part time basis, and be released from work for a full week approximately every 2 months. Modules are a week long and you then have 8 weeks to complete an essay on what you learnt in the module and how this can be applied at work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme is very enjoyable as you are able to interact with a huge variety of people. Some placements are more enjoyable than others but this is down to personal preference and they are all very useful in your development towards a future leader.
4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?
Rolls-Royce values all its employees; as it shows through its salary and rewards scheme. On a more personal level, apprentices are very highly valued within the company and many people that you will work with will have been apprentices in the company themselves.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of the programme is excellent and is broken down into 6 month attachments which allow you to understand a particular part of the business in a lot of detail. The induction to the company makes you feel welcome and you have an Apprentice Development Leader (ADL) who you have regular reviews with to share any concerns, as well as a 'buddy' - someone already on the scheme who can answer any questions you might have.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Although the week spent at the University of Warwick comprises of long days being taught, support is available throughout. Whilst you are writing the PMA you can email you module tutor with questions. The experience at Warwick is further improved through having a variety of experts in the field of your module talking to you, as you get many different viewpoints.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As above, support is available from your ADL as well as your buddy, but you can contact anyone on the scheme and they will be happy to talk to you. This is particularly good when deciding your next placement as you can talk to people who have already done it.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is good and there are several review points where you will talk over what you have achieved and be allocated a raise to your salary accordingly. The scheme is based in Derby and so living costs are relatively low - I am able to meet all my costs and have some left over to save up.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The Apprentice and Graduate Association is run by apprentice and graduates for apprentice and graduates. They hold may events including an annual Ball, go-karting, paintballing, spa days and many others.
9. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
The company has a great name and you will be made very welcome to it. The salary is good and you also study for an MSc. which is completely paid for by the company (including your food and accommodation whilst you are on your modules)!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Research the company thoroughly before you join - we do not make cars! You need to be passionate about engineering and manufacturing and you must want to be a future manager/leader in order to apply for this programme.
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