1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Currently, being place at Elton Road (one of my 8 placements across the four years) my role entails supporting the NDE Aftermarket team, ensuring that the engines Rolls-Royce produce are kept safe and of adequate quality via various inspection technique. I also get to trial new inspection methods, help design new ones and work with new emerging NDT technology.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt the basics of five different NDT inspection methods used at Rolls-Royce, I've improved my basic and further Maths skills/knowledge, I learnt more about how the engineering industry operates (i.e. safety, quality, production, efficiency & quality in each stages etc.). I've learnt some invaluable lessons as a result of training courses that aren't core to my field, but make me a more rounded person in & out of work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy every part of my job - working with shop floor inspectors and learning all the niche knowledge from them, to actually designing and working on all the related factors of a brand new technique. I really enjoy the fact that my colleagues and superiors trust me enough to give me whole projects to work on.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
If there is one area that could use work then it's this. The structure isn't bad at all, however it suffers from random pull outs (from your placement) due to training courses that I need to undertake. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done about this, as the courses need to be done. It's just the nature of the beast to an extent.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The employer is more than understanding of real life issues I could potentially face outside work, and they always accommodate with help. Parts of the programme which can be found rather difficult, always come with support if I should need it. As an example, if I am finding a University subject hard, I can ask my team leaders/managers for time to myself at work to pull myself up in my studies.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Also brilliant; both from Rolls-Royce & from Uni of Northampton. Any support required is provided. Even though as an apprentice I work full time, and I am far away from University, if I need to talk 1-2-1 about some academic work/require support in a subject, I can connect to a tutor over the web either at work (as the employer is understanding) or in my own time.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The knowledge & skills I learn through University & South West School of NDT is invaluable in my role. I can apply things I learn as a result of my qualifications instantly at work, allowing me to better understand the work I am undertaking and trying to improve upon. Without understanding of how Ultrasound works (let's say) I would have a hard time trying to write a Technical Instruction for a Ultrasound instrument.
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.)
Rolls-Royce Leisure centre has loads of activities one can undertake if they are local to Derby (where I am based). Clubs such as badminton club, rugby & footballs clubs, yoga classes etc. EMMS talks are regularly hosted as part of the Materials Society which are always insightful to attend. There is also the apprentice graduate association which is aimed at apprentices & graduates, organising events out, various clubs, socials etc.
9a. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
Rolls-Royce is an employer who respects that we are all different, and instead of simply understanding that, they use that to empower you. They support you if and when you need it, to perform at your best, help you grow and become better at the job role you are chasing. They know that your best well being & great performance is in their interest, offering you opportunities to improve and stretch were appropriate.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Be yourself; do not pretend to be someone you are not as that will only hurt you in the long run. Be honest, as honesty goes a long way. Be confident, but not too confident. Be inclusive; remember that you are one, but a team consists of many ones. Smile.
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