Rolls’ pull of opportunity

Case study: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is not a company that has a problem with recruitment and retention of engineers. With a staff turnover of less than 3% (well below the national average of about 8%), it must be doing something right for its employees.

Dennis Homer, head of engineering career development at Rolls-Royce believes that while this is due to a combination of factors, it is the training and development programme that has been significant on the benefits side. This may be because nearly 70% of its engineers are recruited through its graduate training scheme.

Besides professional development programmes, a recently introduced Early Engineering Professional Development Scheme allows engineers to work towards an MSc. Rolls-Royce also offers plenty of travel opportunities, with foreign postings ranging from a few months to a few years. This has proved very popular among young engineers.

While acknowledging that sometimes a highly skilled engineer may not make the best manager, the company is still able to motivate employees by awarding a Rolls-Royce Engineering Fellowship to those that reach the top of the technical ladder.

`There is no waiting for dead man’s shoes,’ says Homer: engineers can develop and progress according to skills and knowledge and are not restricted by hierarchies.