1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The day-to-day depends on which placement you are on, as you rotate through a number of differnet roles and teams. Generally, there is a team meeting / stand-up every morning. If you are in a technical role such as data analysis, you will spend time working with data to ensure its quality, analysing the data, and presenting it to stakeholders for feedback. Alternatively, in a less-technical roles such as business analysis, there is more focus on working with different teams and stakeholders to understand their needs, and documenting these.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Many new skills. Most importantly, adapting to the corporate environment and learning and understanding how to get the most done. Across different placements, I have learnt skills including software engineering, data engineering and analysis, improved my interpersonal skills through meetings and presentations, become familiar with cloud technologies, and learned a lot about how IT and technology interacts with the core business of engineering.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Very much so, there are many opportunities to learn new skills and work with a real variety of people and teams, with different technologies. There is a very strong culture within the company including employee groups and opportunities to learn from across the business. Everyone is very enthusiastic and keen to share their knowledge to help you learn.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very well structured, possibly too structured at times. The Apprentice Academy makes every effort to ensure apprentices get the learning opportunities they need, and run many other courses to develop additional skills alongside. There is regular review process, and the university teaching is well structured and very relevant to the work.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The Apprentice Academy at Rolls-Royce provides lots of support. Each apprentice has a Apprentice Development Leader who is responsible for ensuring they are progressing, as well as providing pastoral care and guidance where needed. There are many systems in place to help those that are struggling, and Rolls-Royce is very accommodating of university studies and exams.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Lots of support. Extra time off is given for exams, and RR is in close communication with the universities to ensure that the right support is being provided from both sides. Success the training is highly prioritised, and managers are keen to makes sure that learning objectives are being reached.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The university teaching is very relevant, in most cases. For my programme, the fact that we try out a number of roles means that often, you have some level of experience in the workplace that matches up with the university module, and vice versa. This makes a big difference when studying as well as getting to grips with work. I certainly understand a lot more about the industry.
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 are many groups within the company for sports, and we have our own leisure centre a sports complex to facilitate these. Team away days and social events are very common, and there is an Apprentice and Graduate Association that host events throughout the year. Networking events, guest speakers and expos are fairly common to see from different business areas throughout the year.
9a. Would you recommend Rolls-Royce to a friend?
Certainly. The company is so vast that there are many different roles and skills to learn, meaning there is always something for everyone. There is strong support for apprentices and it's clear that they understand the value of apprentices across the whole business. Although it can be a little slower-paced due to the nature of the industry, there are many people keen to keep pushing and are always willing to share knowledge with you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Rolls-Royce?
Spend some time understanding how the organisation has changed over the past 100 years, and the kinds of challenges that we now face. Be prepared for a bit of learning curve if you've never worked in a large corporation before, but expect this to ease up as you get used to it. Ask as many questions as you can, as people love to share what they know.