Rolls-Royce - promoting careers in STEM and delivering inspiring outreach

Date: 21 May 2021

“Empowering young people to make the right career choices for them”

Rolls-Royce has been a corporate member of the EngineeringUK Skills Partnership for more than 10 years.

We sat down with Education Outreach Manager, Nicola Swaney to ask her a few questions about how Rolls-Royce promotes careers in STEM, delivers inspiring outreach activities and how they’re working with the skills partnership to encourage more young people in STEM.

Nicola Swaney leads strategic education outreach programmes for Rolls-Royce, working with schools, external partners and STEM Ambassador and governor employees, in order to inspire young people. She is a board member for the Government’s Opportunity Area in Derby which is aimed at improving social mobility and attainment amongst Derby’s most disadvantaged children.

Committed to STEM outreach 

'Rolls-Royce plans to reach 25 million people across the world in STEM by 2030. We’ve already reached 6.71 million people by providing STEM activities, role models, resources, support and advice to schools, young people, our STEM partnerships and the local community. We are passionate about inspiring young people about careers in STEM and this is championed from the Chairman all the way through to front-line staff.

As a business we want to reach young people in all parts of the UK and encourage them to pursue a career in engineering regardless of their background or level of education. We are always interested in supporting and inspiring the next generation of engineers and this is embedded throughout everything we do. We want to help young people discover the different career options in engineering and the opportunities available to them.'

Inspiring the next generation

'Rolls-Royce joined the Skills Partnership because we wanted to inspire the next generation into a career in STEM, widening and increasing our talent pipeline for our future workforce. Like EngineeringUK, we are passionate about inspiring young people with authentic role models, finding new and innovative ways to reach out, show and explain to young people the different pathways and careers into engineering. We work with EngineeringUK to enthuse at every level across the country to provide a range of fun, inspiring and inclusive engineering activities for young people to enjoy and get an insight into the world of STEM.'

Making a difference for the future

'As a corporate member we’ve exclusive access to the Business and Industry Panel meetings, which are a great opportunity to talk to like-minded organisations who are looking at similar programmes to increase diversity, inclusion and to provide more STEM outreach opportunities. During the meetings we are able to discuss key issues, share data on STEM engagement experiences and good practice. It is also a great opportunity to work with other businesses and explore insights on what’s going on across the country and in other engineering sectors. By working together we are able to pinpoint challenges and make the necessary changes to build a brighter and better future for the next generation of engineers.'

Download and read the case study