1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job is a project management apprentice based in defence. On the scheme you rotate around multiple different projects and in a company like Rolls-Royce there are plenty of different projects, to date I have been involved in delivering engines to customer, establishing Rolls-Royce capability for new engines as well as infrastructure projects. Day to Day I am responsible for producing schedules for the work, planning budgets and then monitoring progress to ensure the project is on track. Many tasks are adhoc like dealing with specific customer requests as they come. Lots of the job is speaking with the relevant functions that are performing the work, then collating this information and presenting it to more senior stakeholders.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
during the 3 year apprenticeship you study towards a foundation degree in project management with the option to complete the full degree once you have started your first role. Internally there are lots of training courses available that give you the specific skills you need to be an excellent project manager e.g. risk management, scheduling and cost control. In the day to day job there are many skills you develop mostly presenting and inter personal skills. As a majority of the job is based around this. I have also developed a lot of skills in different Microsoft and more specific PM programs like P6. You also apply a lot of what is taught in university in the real world which helps massively.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Overall I think the program is very good and I would highly recommend it. Rolls-Royce takes care of their employees and offer lots of support to apprentices. As you move around projects with the scheme you get to know lots of different people who are mostly very helpful, usually apprentices are put with employees who are experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?
Working with the projects you do feel actually valued, you are given real work to do that is actually important o achieving project goals and when work is completed managers have been very good at recognising performance. For excellent performance delivering a project members of my team were given a £100 voucher from the company, which does make you feel valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is now quite mature which means it is well organised. the previous year often arrange your induction which means you get a real world perspective. All necessary training is organised. You are also given a mentor who is an experienced apprentice who can give you support and answer question you don't wish to ask your manager.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
While the university course is well organised it can sometimes feel support from the lecturer is not a good as it could be, this does depend on what lecturer you have which changes each semester. Access to online resources is very good however and all the necessary information you need to available, the onus is put on you to research and find it yourself.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Support is readily available on the scheme, there are a number of different avenues you can receive support from like your line manager, NVQ assessor and mentor. This support is readily available and usually they can resource any issues very quickly, normally they are also more than happy to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Pay is certainly a weak area for the apprenticeship however it does increase quickly over the 3 years, but as bas3ed in Bristol renting costs are quite high. Any company travel is funded through Rolls-Royce which is definitely helpful. While the pay is not great when you begin, when looking forward to the of scheme pay of around £35,000 which is considerably more than some similar schemes which do not increase so high so quickly.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Rolls-Royce is dedicated to STEM so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities that are not related to your day job. These are often fun day events like attending air shows. there is also a well established apprentice and gradate 'club' which organises social activities like pub crawls, sports event, paintballing and ski trips throughout the whole year so there is always something to get involved in.
9. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
While the pay at the start of the apprenticeship is not as good as some other companies, the benefits are good. there is an excellent support network for apprentices and you complete proper work that makes you feel genuinely values by the company and the people you work for. There are plenty of things you can get involved different to your day job that makes the work fun as well as excellent social activities with other apprentices and grads.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
The application process is quite long so make sure to save you answers and review them another day before submitting, this just gives you a clear perspective. The assessment day is rather long but it is important to carry out research on Rolls-Royce and the current challenges we face. You also have to present on the day so make sure you read all the information you are sent and spend time to prepare a good presentation and lastly ensure you get involved with any group activity, nothing sticks out more than somebody doing nothing during a team activity.
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