Product Definition Engineer (Apprentice) at Rolls-Royce

Start Date:
East Midlands
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£11,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

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Review Score

7.9 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


Title: Product Definition Apprentice (PD Engineer on completion)

Daily tasks involve creating 3D models and drawings of aerospace components, interacting with designer, drawing checkers/approvers, stress and analysis engineers to enable me to do this and generate the required work output. I also have to attend DFM (design for manufacture) and DFMEA (design failure mode effects analysis) sessions.

On occasions there is the chance to visit external suppliers.

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


Over the course of my apprenticeship I have completed a level 3 BTEC in engineering and am now completing a foundation degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

We also attend a number of internal training coerces, these range from 'basic holistic gas turbine' to personal finances.

Also available are online coerces on different topics, some of these can be assigned ourselves.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have really enjoyed most of the tasks I have been given at work.

All of the teams I have worked in have been friendly and accommodating.

The company culture towards apprentices is very good, we are always made to feel part of the team and given real world challenging tasks to complete.

The programme has been better than I expected.

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


My manager/team leader treats me like any other member of the team.

I feel involved and valued with the projects I am assigned to.

External recognition is not something I get often, but at the same time it is not something I would really expect with a professional working environment.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The first year of my apprenticeship is very structure and well managed. I have regular performance reviews to track my progress and resolve any issues I have. These reviews cover both my work inside the company and further education outside the company.

The second and third years of my apprenticeship involve placements around various departments within RR. These are all planned out in advance.

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


I don't receive all that much support from my training provider (University) as I don't feel like I need it. Support is on offer if I want it, there are mentors in place and assigned to each student.

Lecturers can always be emailed for help with material from lectures or for assignments that need to be completed. Before exams extra classes have been made available for those who need them.

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


I get a lot of support from my training provider, this is in the form of 12 weekly reviews from my ADL (apprentice development leader) and from my NVQ assessor.

Further support and guidance is available if requested, this is easy to come by.

The general attitude towards helping us as apprentices is very good.

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


The initial starting salary is low, but is enough to live off and run a car. This included moving away from home and renting for me. It allowed little to socialise. Derby (where I am based) isn't too expensive. The salary is performance based and goes up as and when work is done. By the end of the apprenticeship the salary is very good for our age and the fact our degree is being sponsored (and we get a day off to attend).

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


I have taken part in a number of community events, one of these included going into a local primary school and running a whole day event with the year 6 students teaching them about STEM activities in a fun and exciting way. As well as this I was involved in organising an activity at a brownie camp. This involved a lot of forward planning and a weekend away to run the event.

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


9b. Why?

Rolls-Royce has been a fantastic opportunity for me, I am earning while I learn and being train to do a job with one of the worlds best manufacturing companies. I am doing a degree which is sponsored and I get a day off a week to attend ... what's not to like??

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

Make sure your application shows you have interests out side of academia, and you are a well rounded person.

At the interviews be yourself. If you are given any material to study before hand, make sure you learn it!!

On assessment days be your self, make sure you speak up in any group activities, but try and enjoy it. It's not that bad on reflection.

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