Materials Laboratories Apprentice at Rolls-Royce

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£15,800 annually
Review Date:
September 2019

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Review Score

8.5 /10

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


The first year of the Apprenticeship is geared towards gaining a level 2 NVQ which means that i was in the workshop doing milling, turning, welding and sheet metal fabrication. Now that I'm out in the actual company. We get 3 month long placements in different areas (Laboratory or Manufacturing) this could be looking at development materials and parts or looking at service components to improve them or see what happened to the part and why.

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


I've learnt to be able to talk to customers, even though they are internal. One placement i was in was to investigate a part for a customer after a test. I've also developed my skills in working with others on shared projects. In terms of practical skills, I've learnt how to weld, mill and turn. At the beginning of the placement, You and your manager have a conversation about how you can develop and objectives are set.

In terms of training, we work towards a level 2 NVQ, level 4 NVQ and a BEng in Materials Engineering from the University of derby.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy my program a lot and would probably give it a 9/10, this is because the quality of learning that you get from working can rival top universities and beat them in terms of experience gained. From each area you learn to much and they overlap so you can see the puzzle coming together. We also get to go on social events like lunches, dinners and parties to get to know more new people.

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


At the beginning of the apprenticeship, the organisation was medium. Most things were sorted when they should have been (such as laptops, polo tops and the induction) but some other things were not sorted until later, some of us had to wait weeks for our security pass to arrive and had to wear a temporary pass in the meantime.

Once out onto placement though, they are very organised with you, they have projects ready for you to carry out and regular meetings are good as you get and update on the rest of the team. There's always things that they want you to do and the projects are fun and can really test your knowledge.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


In one word, Lots! We all have a development leader who looks at your development as an employee but also how you are doing mentally and physically. they are very accommodating and will quickly solve most problems. If you are off sick, HR will check in on you to make sure you're okay and if they can do anything to help your return. They can also pay for testing for things such as dyslexia. All of your mentors are happy to help if you have difficulties even if it isn't directly related to the course. Everyone wants you to do well so they support you to the fullest. We also have a 24/7 employee assistance line which deals with personal issues that may end up affecting work.

My only complaint is that sometimes the ADL's are overloaded so they don't get back to you immediately

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


Being part of a university gives me access to all of the support networks that a 'normal' student has, this includes tutors, mentors, nurses and lecturers. All of the staff are very welcoming to you and will point you in the right direction if you need help. the pastoral care is great all problems get solve very quickly. all of the staff are also very quick to respond to queries on email too. I personally look forward to university and we get plenty of times to do assignments and revision at work too.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


The things that we learn are very relevant to our roles, the work reinforces what you do at university and in training. the milling and turning also helps to gain an understanding of how the part is made and what is possible. Courses that we take help us understand drawings and manufacturing or assembly processes.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


There an internal group called the AGA. it is geared towards apprentices and graduates. they plan social events and parties for everyone to join. a few to note is a boat party, rollerskating and a dinner. They are always open for ideas on what to do next. Company events are similar and can be dinners or departmental lunches. The university also offers activities such as rock climbing. The site is based near Derby and there is a company bus that takes you to the train station or it's a short walk to the city centre. the city life here is good, there's a range of shops and restaurants. Rolls-Royce has their own leisure centre on campus that you can join for a small fee taken out of your pay check. In summary, If you have an idea of what you want to do. you can do it

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


9b. Why?

You learn so much when you don't realise it. the amount of people here that are willing and passionate about their job really rubs off on you. You meet like-minded people and can become good mates through the socials. When i add it up. I'm glad i didn't go to university full time. yes, it's more work but it's much more rewarding.

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

Listen. even when you're just walking around. You'll learn so much more from leaders in their fields and they want to transfer their knowledge to you.

Persevere. Some points you be given what feels as an impossible task, but when you finish it you will be rewarded.

ASK FOR HELP. Anyone that can help you will help you and it's not a nuisance for them. they would rather you got it right.

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