Manufacturing Development Trainee at Rolls-Royce

Start Date:
East Midlands
Programme Type:
Sponsored Degree Programme
£22,400 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

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Review Score

8.1 /10

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


On the sponsored degree programme apprentices take on six, six month placements in different roles within manufacturing. This means our roles and responsibilities change on a six monthly basis and depend on your current placement. All trainees will perform project planning, manufacturing engineering, continuous improvement and supply chain roles, plus operations leadership towards the end of the programme.

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


During my time at Rolls-Royce I have developed a number of skills that include: lean six-sigma principles, tools and techniques, kaizen event facilitation, communication with both peers and seniors, communication with external partners/suppliers, team working, critical thinking, problem solving, materials planning, leadership, statistical analysis, manufacturing process (shop floor) appreciation, basic CAD methods, project management

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy my time at Rolls-Royce greatly. This particular sponsored degree programme gives us the opportunity to move round not only different locations but different functions and business units. Whilst the programme does follow a tried and tested structure, there is a degree of flexibility that allows trainees to choose their own placements and develop skills which they identify as being weak. It is worth nothing however that this programme is particularly challenging, as we work full time but complete university assignments on top of this.

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


I believe all apprentices, grads and interns are valued by Rolls-Royce, however I feel that my programme in particular is well valued. The calibre of individual on the programme is high and they often deliver great benefits for the businesses they work within. Therefore managers do tend to favour taking on individuals from our programme in attachments or for special projects. Part of this is because of the duration of our programme, which at approximately four years gives us a great deal more experience than graduates applying for similar roles.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


This programme is particularly well structured and has now been running for a number of years. The programme has a steering committee chaired by a senior manager who is a great advocate of the programme. Improvements have been made in the past to increase the chance of transitioning into a full time role at the correct level within the business. Study at the university is administered well and training requirements become clear, although it does take some time to develop a full understanding.

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


Taking training provider to mean the university (albeit this is not the only training we receive) the support on the whole has been good. Module tutors can vary on the level of support they tend to offer delegates, but on the whole they are happy to give out contact details and to answer questions during the time allocated to complete the post module assignment.

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


Support from Rolls-Royce has been excellent in my experience. Support services are available for health and HR issues. If there are other issues or if we feel we need to discuss something about the programme in general our development lead is very approachable. Managers within placements can vary in their level of support; however on the whole the development lead will offer advice as to which areas are best positioned to support certain placements. Personally, support has been forthcoming for bereavement leave and physiotherapy as required.

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


The salary we are paid is more than adequate to cover living costs in the midlands area. It is also higher than the average apprentice wage. Holiday allowances in Derby are generous for this industry with bank holidays included. Pension schemes are encouraged, albeit it can be difficult to understand the detail.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There are a number of opportunities outside of work for apprentices, graduates and interns. There is a very active STEM network within Rolls-Royce and after completing mandatory training individuals can take part in a number of activities to promote STEM subjects. There are also dedicated social groups run by committees of trainees who organise discounted monthly events, large scale charity socials and fundraising activities.

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


9b. Why?

Rolls-Royce is one of the UK's largest manufacturing companies, which supports the UK to remain number 2 in the world for aerospace (only behind the USA). The company has a great ability to attract and retain talented individuals. Rolls-Royce is described as one of the only companies left in the UK where it could be possible to have a "job for life". There are lots of opportunities to move to different roles and functions within in the business in order to progress your career or just develop new skills. I personally have spoken to more than one individual who has left Rolls-Royce in the past only to end up coming back. The company is known for supporting its employees well and not just through remuneration.

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

The key thing is to show passion for the company, its products/services and its vision. Rolls-Royce employees are proud of the company name and heritage. However it is important to show that you are prepared to offer new ways of doing things that support a need to transform the business.

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