Earlier this week I visited Rolls-Royce's state-of-the-art site based in Derby.
This is Rolls-Royce's main site in the UK and it is stunning. With assembly suites and test beds for ground-breaking jet engines the size of a small house the site is truly amazing.
I was privileged to have a tour of the site, see some of the engines being tested and learn more about this world-leading company based in the heart of Britain.
Rolls-Royce prides itself on it's highly skilled workforce. Of it's over 40,000 employees across the globe almost half are highly qualified engineers.
But Rolls-Royce is not being complacent - they are investing in the next generation of their workforce. They currently spend almost £40 million on training and development.
A large part of this is based at Rolls-Royce Apprentice Academy in Derby. I was privileged to be given a tour of the Academy's three-storey, 3,850 square metre site replete with workshops and hundreds of apprentices. A Rolls-Royce apprenticeship is a passport to a secure job and success - members of the senior management at Rolls-Royce began their working lives as apprentices and have climbed their way to the top. In fact it is more competitive to secure a Rolls-Royce apprenticeship than it is to get into an Oxford college. When an Apprentice begins at Rolls-Royce they are told that the sky is the limit and that there is no limit to how far they could go.
We need to see more Rolls-Royce's across our country and we need to see the number of high quality apprenticeships increase dramatically if we are to tackle the skills shortage and the cost of living crisis which our country is facing.