How supporting IntoUniversity is helping Rolls-Royce SMR to encourage a future-fit workforce
The new IntoUniversity centre in Salford is working closely with local schools and the Universities of Salford and Manchester to improve educational outcomes for young people in the area.
The city has proved to be an ideal location to open a new centre - in central Salford, more than half of young people are growing up in poverty, which has long-lasting effects on educational attainment (End Child Poverty, 2019).
Businesses and individuals have played a key role in making it happen. As valued donors they have funded the centre, providing long-term benefits for young Salfordians in the area.
One such business offering support is Rolls-Royce SMR, an affordable power plant that generates electricity using a small modular reactor, demonstrating an intelligent way to meet our future energy needs.
Rolls-Royce SMR’s Talent and HR Director Adam Ellis talks us through the motivation behind getting involved.
“We want to really reflect the communities in which we employ, which is largely people around Manchester, Salford and Warrington. We are motivated to attract more diversity into our sector, so social mobility is fundamental to our success,” says Adam.
When discussing the opportunities that could flourish from IntoUniversity, he said: “If young people can’t see a route for them going into higher education, and to university in particular, it will always be out of reach for them. We are part of a thriving, innovative, engineering-based community – there are many opportunities to be part of it.”
Central to IntoUniversity’s beliefs is that no young person should miss out on education and training opportunities because of social deprivation.
“There are chronic skills shortages in STEM,” says Adam. “There is blatant talent in Salford and we’re keen to utilise it, not only does it support the levelling-up agenda but it contributes towards our business needs.”
Rolls-Royce SMR works closely with Salford-based talent specialist and fellow IntoUniversity donor Morson Group to find the brightest talent to work at the company.
When asked what a future-fit workforce looks like, he said: “It should mirror the area we operate in, with the same levels of diversity. There’s much more work that needs to be done to improve inclusivity - it’s ceaseless. There is a lot of injustice in society, we’ve seen it with the cost-of-living crisis recently. The only way we’ll get out of it is to offer well-paid jobs for highly skilled workers.”
IntoUniversity Salford is now open, with a special launch event taking place early next year.
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