Rolls-Royce–University of Warwick collaboration
- Published: Friday, 08 May 2015 15:25
- Written by National Centre for Universities and Business
Case study by Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc has enjoyed a long relationship with the University of Warwick in terms of sponsoring selected employees to complete part-time Masters’ Degree programmes, predominantly for the MSc in Engineering Business Management.
A relatively recent extension of that relationship has been introduced in terms of supporting the academic development of a new programme, aimed at high calibre A-Level students joining their Manufacturing Development Programme. This programme is designed to develop these young people to take on a number of key roles within their manufacturing function, including first level management positions.
Discussions took place between representatives from Rolls-Royce and the University of Warwick in 2012 regarding how the educational requirements of this programme could be achieved in line with the expectations of the business. This resulted in a proposal for these trainees to complete a Masters Foundation programme during their first full year of training, followed by progression to the full MSc.
The Masters Foundation programme for the first Rolls-Royce cohort, commenced in January 2013. This requires the completion of six 2.5 day and one 5-day residential modules, plus a work-based project. Modules titles include: Business Awareness, Developing People, Working in Teams, Leading Performance, Improving Business Performance, Improving Manager Performance and Financial Analysis & Control. The Foundation Programme is an excellent preparation for the rigours of the full MSc programme and those that have progressed so far are performing extremely well.
There are currently 28 trainees following this programme (at either Foundation or MSc stage) and is proving to be very successful in terms of attracting highly capable young people, all of whom would have otherwise chosen the full-time degree option.
The opportunity to gain a highly respected Master’s Degree from a Russell Group University has undoubtedly been a key factor in the decisions of the vast majority of the trainees to apply for the programme. The programme also requires the trainees to undertake a series of business placements, typically of six-months duration, where they gain experience in areas such as Business Improvement, Manufacturing Engineering, Purchasing and Planning & Control. Feedback from the trainees is consistently very complimentary regarding the quality of the learning experience at Warwick and also how what they learn is highly relevant to the work they are undertaking in the workplace, enabling excellent results.
Rolls-Royce and University staffs meet on a regular basis to review the programme and to amend where required. A number of such amendments have been made since the programme began. The University are always very supportive of what Rolls-Royce need to achieve through the programme and are very responsive in terms of continually meeting business expectations.
Rolls-Royce also maintains similar relationships with a number of other universities in the UK, where apprentices at any of their main facilities undertake a range of higher education qualifications. They also have dedicated University Liaison Teams, made up of alumni graduates from selected universities, who promote Rolls-Royce graduate career opportunities to students looking to undertake careers in a range of disciplines.