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Rolls-Royce opens up apprenticeship program to record number of participants

January 30, 2017

Rolls-Royce apprentice working in assembly Rolls-Royce apprentice working in assembly


British automaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ 2017 apprenticeship program is shaping up to have the brand’s largest class yet.

Ever since the auto brand began its program in 2006, it has steadily increased the number of candidates it welcomes to its home in Goodwood for training, with this year’s initiative opening 20 spots. Educational initiatives are a way for OEMs to ensure that there is talent prepared to fill key roles within their organizations.

On the job training
Rolls-Royce’s apprenticeship program, which can last up to four years, is for individuals ages 16-24. Run in collaboration with local colleges, participants can take part in both coursework and hands-on training at Rolls-Royce’s plant.

While at Rolls-Royce, these apprentices will work alongside employees to hone artisan skillsets in mediums such as leather, wood and paint, as well as discover engineering and assembly tasks.

Rolls-Royce apprentice surface finish

Rolls-Royce apprentice in surface finish

After the apprenticeship, many of the participants join Rolls-Royce in leadership roles.

“I am delighted to announce the start of recruitment for this year’s Apprenticeship Programme,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a statement. “We are committed to developing future talent at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and I am especially pleased that we will welcome a record number of new apprentices to the business in 2017.

“The development of artisanal craft skills at our center of excellence here in West Sussex, has been a hallmark of the first successful chapter in the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars,” he said. “I look forward to welcoming the next generation of talented craftspeople to the Home of Rolls-Royce in the summer.”

Aside from its apprenticeship, Rolls-Royce runs a graduate program and invites about 100 university students to take up work placements in its headquarters each year.

Other automakers have combined classroom education with active training to ensure that skilled workers will be available.

For instance, Mercedes-Benz USA is looking to ensure that dealerships have the technical talent they require through an educational partnership.

The automaker has linked with Gwinnett Technical College on the Mercedes-Benz Technical Training Program, a two-year program that offers hands-on learning. With this initiative, Mercedes-Benz is not only providing students with skills, but opening up a new channel for recruitment (see story).