Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, today began work on a new state-of-the-art Apprentice Academy, which will double the number of apprentices it can train each year.
Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, joined Rolls-Royce Engineering and Technology Director Colin Smith at a ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction. The new facility, located at the Rolls-Royce Learning and Career Development Centre in Derby, will allow for training of up to an additional 200 apprentices who can work in the supply chain and other local engineering companies.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills is providing £6million of financial support for construction of the Academy.
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Apprenticeships are central to the Government’s drive to rebalance our economy and provide businesses with the skills they need to deliver sustained long-term growth. Rolls-Royce is leading the way in this important work to train and equip future employees in the advanced manufacturing sector.”
Colin Smith, Rolls-Royce, Director of Engineering and Technology, said: “We are pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to Rolls-Royce to celebrate this important milestone with us. Engineering is a very rewarding career and I believe that an apprenticeship can provide young people with the foundation they need to excel. Our new Apprentice Academy will enable us to double the number of apprenticeships we can offer annually and we hope it will help generate enthusiasm amongst young people for careers in science and engineering.”
During his visit to Rolls-Royce, Dr Cable talked with current apprentices and heard about the types of training they are undertaking.
Rolls-Royce has been training apprentices for over 50 years, and the Group’s apprenticeship programme is an industry leader; awarded Beacon Status by the Learning & Skills Improvement Service and OFSTED graded the programme as outstanding in all areas. The scheme enjoys a 98% retention rate; 90% of Rolls-Royce apprentices go on to achieve higher qualifications, half to degree level; and over one third of the company’s senior UK managers began their careers as apprentices.