Although best known for its legacy of luxury cars, Rolls Royce is more than just an automotive royalty. Employing over 38,000 people across 50 countries, this revered brand manufactures power systems for four aerospace markets – civil, defence, marine and energy.
- Interesting and international work
- Great reputation and name on your CV
- Respectable pay and benefits
- Lots of teamwork and opportunities for development
- Too political at times
- Some poor managers and little say over decisions
The mention of Rolls-Royce would, for many, conjure an image of a plush car, perhaps reserved for the more mature members of society. Rolls-Royce Plc, however, has been separate from the automotive company since 1971. A far cry from domestic luxuries, Rolls-Royce now manufactures power systems for four aerospace markets – civil, defence, marine and energy. With sales consistently round about the £10 billion mark, and a customer base consisting of airlines, the armed forces, and aircraft and helicopter operators, Rolls-Royce are looking to expand their 38,000 strong work force.
The possibilities of Rolls-Royce’s revenue may well be endless. They boast the number two position for engine makers in civil aerospace, number one for defence aerospace in Europe (number two in the world), and spend hundreds of millions on research and development every year – a third of which is designated to long-term environmental goals. The company’s success in civil aerospace is owed to its gas turbine technology, making Rolls-Royce a popular choice for 40 out of the world’s 50 top airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Nippon Airways.
In the market of defence aerospace, Rolls-Royce’s production of engines for combat aircraft, helicopters, military transport and tactical aircraft accounts for approximately 25% of the world’s military fleet. Rolls-Royce’s military success is perhaps owed to its involvement with the development of combat aircrafts, notably its role with Eurojet –Typhoon.
With continued progress in both the civil and defence markets, it isn’t surprising that of late Rolls Royce has pumped a significant amount into research and development. Simon Robertson, the firm’s chairman, stated that this investment is integral to Rolls-Royce “being harnessed in a number of international programmes”. Aware of aviation’s criticism for its role in rising carbon dioxide levels, Rolls Royce has answered its critics by reserving two thirds of its research and development budget for reducing the environmental impact of its products and services. The group is also part of the seven year European ’Clean Sky‘ joint technology research project, along with six other major European aerospace manufacturers; the aim being to radically improve the impact of air transport on the environment by speeding up the technological breakthroughs that will, hopefully, make all the difference.
While Rolls-Royce is certainly concerned with ‘being green’, we mustn’t forget that its R&D aims stretch far beyond environmental concerns. In its 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report, the company declared that its priorities for the next few years included a structured approach to technology acquisition in the long term, the modernisation of factories and elevating its aftermarket services division – which that year represented 53% of group sales. Rolls-Royce has estimated that over the next 20 years, the global accessible market for its products will be worth some two trillion dollars, of which approximately half will relate to the provision of its aftermarket services.Read all 6 employee quotes
If a career with mobility prospects is appealing, then it may be worth noting that Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing is based across 20 countries, serving customers in 150 countries. The sites located in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Finland, Korea, Poland and China account for most of the company’s manufacturing and assembly operations for all of its gas turbine, diesel, marine, oil and gas and power generation products.
Rolls-Royce offers a wide range of graduate, undergraduate, internships and apprenticeship opportunities via its main website. On the website, prospective candidates can proceed to a relevant country site, choosing from the UK, US, Canada, China, Germany, Norway or Sweden. The graduate programme, which requires a 2:1 and a relevant Masters for engineering-specific programmes, is split into two sections. The first, the ’Professional Excellence‘ scheme, is a 12 to 18 month programme involving a series of three-month rotations in the engineering, purchasing, logistics, commercial or marketing areas. The second, the ’Leadership Development‘ programme, is a longer 18 to 24 month scheme, focussed, as the title suggests, on developing future business leaders. Again the programme involves area rotations, but one of which is an international placement of six months.
There are also country specific programmes for graduates, details of which can also been seen on the group’s careers website. The engineering-specific China programme is in manufacturing engineering, lasts up to 18 months and includes stints in the UK as wells as in China/Hong Kong. Applications are accepted via the company’s website by an initial questionnaire and CV, followed by online SHL tests and an assessment centre for first round successes. But with only 160 graduate places available each year, competition is fierce.
For experienced hires, again, one of the seven country-specific sites can be accessed from Rolls-Royce’s main site. The ubiquitous registration form and CV upload is the preferred application method, but in addition, the company lists a helpline where candidates can call for advice in processing their applications.
No. of employees worldwide: 38,900 (Approx.)
No. of graduate roles: 200
Professional Excellence Programme: £25,500 + £2k joining bonus
Leadership Development Programme: £28,000 + £3k joining bonus
Civil Aerospace services
Defence Aerospace services
The role I was given was new and was based in engineering - unfortunately it drew on nothing from my marketing degree.InternHelpful?
Other internships were selected through online tests, assessment centres and several interviews. Mine was a single interview.InternHelpful?
Apart from introducing me to the company culture, no training was given as I was the first person in this role.InternHelpful?
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