Annabel Hibbert (Engineering Higher Apprentice) and Tom Zalewski (Advanced Technical Apprentice) at Rolls-Royces’s Apprenticeship Academy, Derby.

Annabel Hibbert (Engineering Higher Apprentice) and Tom Zalewski (Advanced Technical Apprentice) at Rolls-Royces’s Apprenticeship Academy, Derby.

Rolls-Royce joins the 5% Club

Rolls-Royce is the latest company to join the 5% Club, a group of businesses committed to upskilling their new recruits.

Launched 3 years ago, The 5% Club now has over 200 members ranging from SMEs to FTSEs and covers a number of diverse industries, from engineering through to the legal sector.

Upon signing The 5% Club’s charter, members commit to strive to achieve 5% of their workforce in “earn and learn” positions within five years of joining; these roles can be apprentices, sponsored students and graduate trainees. Each member must also report on their progress in their annual report.

Rolls-Royce has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to developing employee skills. In 2015, the business recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices throughout the company’s worldwide training programmes.

Other new joiners include the design consultancy Arcadis, electrical contractor Clarkson Evans and the luxury hotel The Dorchester, which recently hosted a high-level dinner during Apprenticeship Week with The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, to discuss how The 5% Club can help equip the UK with the skills it needs to boost productivity and compete internationally. 

Penny Cobham, director general of The 5% Club, said: “Post-Brexit, the UK must ensure that every young individual has the opportunity to develop the skills that will enable them to embark on a rewarding career and enable businesses to compete internationally.

"I am delighted that Rolls-Royce, a company with a rich history of developing high performance power systems, has taken yet another step in its strong commitment to investing in the skills of the next generation by joining The 5% Club.

"Rolls-Royce already has a highly regarded training programme for apprentices and graduates and I hope that through membership of The 5% Club that the company can share its understanding of best practice with other member.”

Paul Broadhead, head of community investment and education outreach of Rolls-Royce, added: “We continue to develop our employee base, ensuring we have the right skills for our business today and the right capabilities for the future. Our early career programmes are vital to us.  Our apprentices and graduates are the fuel that powers our innovation. 

"To enthuse, inspire and attract diverse talent into our company, the sector and wider society we have also committed to reach 6 million people through our STEM programmes and activities by 2020.

"It is this investment in skills for the future that fits so well with the aims and commitment of the employer membership of The 5% Club. We are therefore proud to join The 5% Club.”