1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an apprentice my role involves spending time at different sites across the business, getting experience in a variety of non-destructive testing methods. This includes experience with inspection of production components on shop floors, development work for in-service inspections, and visiting external suppliers for audits.
On a daily basis I manage a few different projects which I am responsible for. This often involves emailing suppliers for development work, or carrying out inspections and testing myself. The work is always changing so there's never a boring day.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over the course of the apprenticeship I have gained many formal qualifications and developed many personal skills. I have also attended many internal training courses in a variety of subjects as part of the apprentice training curriculum. The number of qualifications I have gained over the course of my apprenticeship has set me up for my future career, and it's all been paid for by Rolls-Royce.
Personal Skills: - Time management: with multiple projects on the go there can often be a lot of work to get done, so it's important to be able to efficiently manage my time to get all the work done. - Team working: a lot of the time I am working alongside others. - Project management: learning how to manage a project, set goals and milestones to reach, and ask for help where needed is essential as part of my daily job.
Formal Qualifications (External): - NDT Level 2 (EN4179) Qualifications in FPI/MPI/ET/UT/DR - ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Course - FdSc in Non-Destructive Testing
Working towards: - NDT Level 3 Qualifications in FPI/MPI/ET/UT
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My programme has exceeded all my expectations, and put me in a much better position for my future than completing a full-time degree would have done. I enjoy the variety of work, the opportunities to travel, and the support from my manager and company in building my career.
4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?
As an apprentice I feel valued as Rolls-Royce has invested a lot into my training and qualifications. I've had the opportunity to manage my own projects which will have a tangible impact to the company. This definitely isn't an apprenticeship where you just make the coffee!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I started my apprenticeship as it was being switched from an old scheme to a new trailblazer standard. This led to the first 9 months being a little unorganised, but is now running smoothly.
As Rolls-Royce has a large number of apprentices they have a streamlined induction process which involves an outward bounds visit to get to know other apprentices.
As I have progressed further in the apprenticeship I have been given more freedom in managing my own work as I have shown I can be trusted and have the knowledge to do so.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I am taking a FdSc in Non-Destructive Testing at Northampton, which is delivered as distance learning. The tutors are generally quick to respond to queries about assignments, but most of the work does involve teaching myself from the learning material.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As an apprentice I have support from my program manager, my apprentice development leader (ADL) and from others around me on my apprenticeship. I have encountered a few issues with staff who weren't so keen on training apprentices, but 99% of interactions have been positive!
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As I relocated to Derby for the apprenticeship, the starting salary was a little low, especially compared to some competitors. However, this quickly rises and the salary is more than enough to cover living expenses and save a decent amount of money. On the plus side, accommodation is relatively cheap in Derby.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There is an apprentice and graduate association which organises various subsidised events for apprentices, though I haven't taken part in many of them.
9. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
Compared to finishing a full-time degree and applying for jobs, I feel much more qualified and experienced than most others my age. Completing an apprenticeship has given me a huge head start for my future career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Show your passion for whatever you're applying for. Make sure you're very familiar with whatever material is sent to you to prepare for interviews, and read up beyond that.
Make sure you know that Rolls-Royce don't make cars when you come for your interview, and please don't ask if you'll get a company car...
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