Rolls-Royce is helping disadvantaged children in Derby create successful careers

Rolls-Royce is one of the most well-known companies in the UK, if not the whole world.

The global power group has three core operating businesses: Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power Systems.

Derby is Rolls-Royce’s largest site, with more than 12,300 employees, and the company takes pride in enthusing the city’s younger generation about its technology and its various early career opportunities.

A key element of Rolls-Royce’s Community Investment and Education Outreach programme involves Rolls-Royce employees working with the city’s primary and secondary schools to talk about the business and future job roles available to them, in particular its apprenticeship schemes, internships and graduate opportunities.

The company is part of the Derby Opportunity Area board – actively working with Derby University, Derby College, the city council, local schools, regional employers and sporting and cultural organisations such as Derby County Community Trust, to improve social mobility, raise aspirations and promote the city’s fantastic opportunities for young people in the city’s underprivileged areas.

There are hundreds of Rolls-Royce STEM ambassadors in Derby supporting this vital mission, who are passionate and engaged in this work.

As a company that champions innovation and pioneers leading-edge power solutions, Rolls-Royce has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2030, and that all its products will be compatible with net-zero by 2050.

The company is pioneering breakthrough technologies that will accelerate this transition to net zero carbon, such as all-electric urban air mobility and regional aviation, hybrid-electric systems, fuel cells, microgrids and small modular nuclear reactors.

Rolls-Royce offers an exciting range of apprenticeships, internships and graduate opportunities for young people in Derby

The business is already highlighting its strategy to lead the transition to net-zero carbon to the engineers of tomorrow, and the company’s support for young people’s futures doesn’t stop there.

Rolls-Royce is a key partner of the Derbyshire Live Business Awards this year, and sponsor of the Education Sector: Business Engagement and Employability category.

The sparkling awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 21, 2021, nominations are now closed but you can find ticket details here.

Nicola Swaney, education outreach manager at Rolls-Royce says: “At Rolls-Royce, we do a lot of work with primary schools in Derby because we think it’s so important to start careers education early, and inspire children as young as five years old about the Rolls-Royce business and what we do.

“We’ve recently launched our net-zero carbon strategy and it’s a very exciting story to tell young people who get very enthused about the subject, and the future green job roles that will be available to them in our business.

“A few months ago, as part of our ACCEL all-electric aircraft programme, we launched a helmet design children’s competition. It was a nationwide programme and many local schools in Derby took part. We had more than 600 entries in just 10 days and it helped pupils understand our world-record-breaking attempt which will take place later this year. We’re going to be aiming to beat the world speed record for all-electric flight with our electric aircraft the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aiming for speeds of 300+ mph, and our chief test pilot will be wearing the unique helmet that one of Derby’s school children has helped to design.”

To find out more about Rolls-Royce’s education outreach programme, visit the website here.

Helping disadvantaged groups

Rolls-Royce plays a key part in helping under-privileged areas of Derby, and the young people who live in them, gain beneficial opportunities and good career prospects in the local area.

The company is a valid member of the Derby Opportunity Area – a board that was set up to help increase social mobility in the local region after Derby was recognised as needing to do more in order to improve attainment and inspiration among youngsters in the city.

The board, which was established by the Government in 2017, has resulted in better collaboration between schools, colleges, businesses, universities, sports and cultural organisations, and Derby City Council in the last four years.

One of the ways that Rolls-Royce has supported this is through the ‘Our Future Derby’ programme – and many diverse Rolls-Royce employees visit Primary schools in the local area – so children can help understand the future opportunities available to them and break down stereotypes around engineering as a career.

Rolls-Royce is helping disadvantaged children in Derby create successful careers
Rolls-Royce is sponsoring the Education Sector: Business Engagement and Employability category at the DerbyshireLive Business Awards 2021

Training the engineers of tomorrow

Rolls-Royce’s Young Apprenticeship programme is a unique training opportunity that the company offers in Derby to local pupils.

Young people in secondary schools can apply in Year 9 for a place on the two-year programme. If successful, they will come into Rolls-Royce one day a week in Year 10 and Year 11 to gain NVQs and in-depth work experience while they complete their studies.

Rolls-Royce is helping disadvantaged children in Derby create successful careers
Rolls-Royce is leading the transition to net-zero carbon and the company’s decarbonisation strategy aims to make the most of the new opportunities opening up in the transition to a net-zero world

Opportunities for the programme are limited to only 20 places. However, 2021 saw Rolls-Royce collaborate with local schools to promote diversity and encourage young girls and under-represented groups in disadvantaged areas of the city, in particular, to apply for the scheme, and raise awareness of the assessment process.

This year, for the first time two Roma students from The Bemrose School in Derby were successfully accepted onto the apprenticeship programme – the students will also have the opportunity to apply to progress onto the full-time Rolls-Royce apprenticeship programme once they finish their GCSEs.

Role models for the future

Rolls-Royce is helping disadvantaged children in Derby create successful careers
Children are encouraged to pursue an engaging career with Rolls-Royce from an early age

Rolls-Royce has a comprehensive education outreach strategy that aims to inspire young people about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. The company has set itself a global target to reach 25 million young people by 2030.

In the UK the business has a number of key programmes and partnerships, such as the Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology (RRSPST), that helps teachers increase science, mathematics, and technology engagement in their schools and colleges across the UK.

It also has partnerships with Teach First, EngineeringUK, STEM Learning, Girlguiding and The Scout Association, amongst others.

Rolls-Royce has more than 1,200 STEM ambassadors across the UK, a large number of whom are based in Derby and volunteer regularly to become role models to young people in the community.

They aim to raise awareness and understanding of the company’s local careers, and bust myths about stereotypes around the world of work – many of them, for example, are also members of Rolls-Royce’s African and Caribbean Pioneers Network and work to demonstrate inclusivity and diversity in the city.

The impact of this programme has been proven to have excellent feedback from teachers, pupils and families in Derby.

To find out more about Rolls-Royce’s education outreach programme, visit the website here.

For more information about the Derbyshire Live Business Awards, click here.

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