Jess Bestwick

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship gave me an insight into the world of engineering and showed that what I was learning was relevant to a range of technical careers in industry. The Scholarship funding helped to improve my A-level project by adding electronics to the re-designed IKEA building that I had developed, giving the project a more realistic look and the extra ‘wow’ factor before submission.

 "Arkwright delivers access to the highest-quality students that we need to attract as an organisation. We are proud to say that many Arkwright alumni are now working in key roles, developing the future of Rolls-Royce."

Rani Gill, Education Outreach Manager, Rolls-Royce plc

My Arkwright Scholarship was the key reason as to why I pursued an engineering career. At the time of choosing my A-Levels, I had no idea what career I wanted to go into, and so I chose the subjects that I enjoyed and that I prospered at: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Product Design. After being successful in gaining the Arkwright Scholarship, I was offered a week’s work experience at Rolls-Royce as part of the Scholarship. I really enjoyed the varied, and fast-paced environment; this was when I realised that an engineering career was for me. From this, I discussed my career options with my family, friends and teachers and whether I should pursue my education and career through university or an apprenticeship route.

After comparing the two, it became apparent that for me a higher apprenticeship after A levels was the better option. I like to see how the theory works in practical situations and the apprenticeship does that perfectly. The Rolls-Royce apprenticeship offers such a great package – practical experience, education and a range of other opportunities. My first six months were based in a new state-of-the-art workshop, specifically built for apprentices, learning engineering skills such as milling, sheet metal and welding, whilst working towards a NVQ Level 2 qualification. During this time and for the next two years, I studied for a Foundation Degree in Mechanical Engineering on block release (1 week at college, 2 weeks at work). Once I had completed my time in the workshop, I began work experience, completing three-month placements in the business in a range of different departments. Now, I spend 4 days at Rolls-Royce in Derby gaining work experience, and the other at Sheffield Hallam University studying for my top-up degree to convert my Foundation Degree into a full BEng Hons in Engineering (Mechanical).

During my work experience I am treated as any other member of the team, conducting real work that helps us to build, test and strip the engines. I am responsible for a range of tasks and am supported where needed. These tasks can range from getting hardware ready to build an engine, inspecting engine hardware post-test, to inspecting an engine that is on test. This work all goes towards my

NVQ Level 4 in Engineering Leadership, to prove my professional competency alongside my degree.

I am so grateful to my Arkwright Scholarship, and Rolls-Royce, for first showing me what a fantastic experience a higher apprenticeship can be!

Arkwright Scholar 2010 - 2012

The Charles Littlewood
Hill Trust

Maths, Physics, Product Design

Higher Technical Apprentice,
Rolls Royce plc