Rolls-Royce – Rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Rolls-Royce plc train over 600 Apprentices at their Derby and Bristol sites. All Apprentices complete their first year of training off the job in engineering skills workshops, either at the company site or at local FE colleges. The success rate for Apprentices is over 90 per cent.

The company was judged 'outstanding' overall in their Ofsted inspection (January 2010)*. Particular praise was given for their approach to equality of opportunity, diversity and tackling discrimination. All Apprentices take part in a two-day course called GERI (Gender Equality Race Inclusion). Issues covered include sexual orientation, equality for disabled people and cultural awareness. Feedback from Apprentices is very good and Ofsted noted that the learning has 'significantly raised their understanding of personal values and respect for differences. During reviews, staff reinforce this training by discussing relevant case histories based on company experiences.'

To complement this course, a module on 'personal integrity' has been piloted with a focus on skills. This is facilitated by specialist trainers from a local agency, Indigo Brave. A sample of the course objectives is provided below.

Course objectives
At the end of this session you will have:

> Identified your own Emotional Intelligence abilities and know where your strengths lie and which areas you need to improve.
> Explored value-based communication, based on Rolls-Royce values and your own personal life values.
> Tested and applied a number of essential communication techniques which arise in real life work situations.
> Examined resilience, motivation and personal integrity as skills and competencies, and learnt how to build and improve them.
> Increased your ability to have a positive impact - on yourself, others and the business.
> Developed practical ways to increase your influencing, negotiating and persuading skills.

The aim of this course is to help Apprentices actively stand up for their personal and company values once in the workplace. Sometimes this means resisting peer pressure and having the ability to challenge discrimination or bad practice.

Seeking to improve their provision, Rolls-Royce is now looking for ways of addressing sexual health as part of their programme. Care, guidance and support for learners were also judged outstanding by Ofsted. Rolls-Royce see benefits both for the individuals and the business in providing an ongoing package of personal and social development opportunities.

For more information contact:
Chris Keane, quality lead - Rolls-Royce Apprentice development
Email: chris.keane@rolls-royce.com

More case studies on this theme can be found in the Sex Education Forum briefing Foundation Learning and Apprenticeships  (2010).