1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On a daily basis the role involves leading a production team to produce the required outputs in terms of safety, quality, cost and delivery. This requires monitoring processes, improving and coaching the team where required. In order to achieve the required production outputs for the area, regular reviews must be attended, actions taken and improvements made where necessary.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my time on the scheme, I mainly learnt people management skills. However, many skills are required and, although not the main focus of the scheme, engineering principles and appreciations of the key disciplines are conducted. The scheme also sponsors academic involvement from Warwick University, focusing on Engineering Business Management. This gives you the academic background to production management in an engineering environment.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme is enjoyable, with like-minded people and gives you the opportunity to study whilst working. A week at Warwick University with peers every 2 months in a residential setting is enjoyable, although long days are required. Furthermore, the people you meet at work can be exceptional as well as the teams. On the flip side the scheme requires a lot of dedication and hard work, therefore can encroach upon the work-life balance.
4. How valued do you feel by Rolls-Royce?
I feel valued by Rolls-Royce. As a company, Rolls-Royce offers brilliant benefits in terms of holidays and pay. Although placements can vary within the company, at a corporate level you could not find a better company to work for. The risks again are work-life balance, however many employees manage this well and it really depends on local expectations and experiences which can vary massively across the company. Ultimately, find a place that suits you.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme has become more structured in recent years, although is semi-structured at best. The first three months are mandatory appreciation weeks in the LDC, for engineering principles. After that a variety of placements may be undertaken, at different times, lengths and areas of the business, with agreement. There are strong guidelines on relevant experiences however, and the Production Leader role is mandatory along with some others, as the main aim of the scheme.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training providers are both internal and external. Whilst there is opportunity to drawn on internal networks, the main support for academic training is from Warwick University. As this is quite a drive from the company there is limited face-to-face support, usually a week every two months, however email is often used to reach out to lecturers for advice.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Employees are expected to manage their experience to some extent. There is support in terms of a bi-monthly review with a development leader, however it is often down to the individual to reach out if extra support is required. This is promoted by the scheme to ensure independence. Ultimately the development leader is there for support if required, but the individual is responsible for reaching out if they think they have too much or too little work in placements.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary on the scheme starts on a competitive apprentice wage, enough to rent and have a decent living. Nonetheless, the scheme salary is performance-based and, assuming positive results, pay increases substantially at least once a year until final salary is reached upon completion of the scheme. At this point, pay is very good, Rolls-Royce in general pays very well. The company also offers an all-employee bonus yearly that you are eligible for whilst on the scheme providing the company meets its objectives and goals.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The opportunities outside of work are again extensive. The company has an apprentice and graduate association which organises many events outside of work from a yearly charity ball to three peaks challenge. Furthermore, Rolls-Royce provides you with time to support local STEM activities if you are interested or general community work. Work-life balance is always a challenge whilst studying and working, yet there are many opportunities to get involved in other activities if you choose.
9. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
Rolls-Royce is a very good company to work for, pay, benefits and culture. It also offers relatively good job security, often a job for life. Furthermore, as a global company, if working in the right areas there is opportunity to work abroad. Although this is limited throughout the scheme, there may be opportunities if the business requires and there are always opportunities to work at locations around the UK. The business offers a lot of independence in return for loyalty from its employees. The scheme also provides you with a brilliant qualification, opportunity to develop and get off to a good start in your career if you’re interested in general management.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Show, or be able to show, a genuine interest in manufacturing, particularly in engineering. General knowledge of Rolls-Royce’s business is also beneficial and shows you have researched the role and company. It is important to prepare and know exactly what you are applying for. The scheme is for Engineering Business Management, not direct engineering but is aimed at leadership roles. For this reason it can be considered more a business management course than one for engineers, however as already stated an interest in engineering and manufacturing is essential.
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