1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in a production environment making components for the aerospace industry. The work focuses on precision grinding and EDM. Day-to-day as an apprentice you will shadow a full time employee who help you to develop your skills. Skills include loading and set-ups of machines as well as general problem solving.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many new technical skills such as how to run complex CNC machines as well as skills learnt at college which help in the job too. There are opportunities for internal training to boost your knowledge.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I generally enjoy my programme and job. I work with great people who mostly care about my development. The job is different to what I expected - a lot of the work is simply fulfilling production requirements, so programming your own machine etc is something that doesn't happen. Sometimes the work can be repetitive so the job is at its most interesting when problems with the machines occur.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There were issues at the start of my programme, mainly with incorrect units being chosen for us, as well as problems with the college. However, this has improved greatly over the last 18 months with a lot more organisation to the course.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is generally very helpful. I have 2 managers (1 for apprenticeship and 1 for business placement) who both support me with regular catch-ups and meetings. There are dedicated apprentice support channels too which is a nice thing to have!
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Previously there were issues with the training provider to do with lack of support and general helpfulness however this too has been sorted out to an extent recently and it feels like it is generally getting better.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I feel as if the qualification is somewhat detached from what my job really is - my qualifications have made me a better manual machinist and certainly improved some of my technical abilities. The issue is that I am not a manual machinist and very little of what I have learnt really makes a difference in my ability to run a CNC machine
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.)
Yes there are - however due to the COVID-19 pandemic almost all of these have been halted for the time being. There are lots of opportunities to work in STEM outreach which is a really rewarding thing to do. Not to mention the opportunities for travel to different events through STEM can add a good dimension to your job.
9a. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
Because as a large business there are many different opportunities for careers with 'something for everyone'. The pay and benefits are good and the skills and knowledge you'll learn as an apprentice will set you up for hopefully an exciting career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Be enthusiastic wherever you can, whether that's in your application or on assessment days. Learn your stuff! You'll be expected to have a basic understanding of gas turbine engines when you apply (for engineering/manufacturing jobs at least). If you can come to the interview with an interesting fact or unusual knowledge about gas turbine engines its sure to put you apart from the rest!