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Rolls-Royce Uses Art to Boost Skills


Rolls-Royce has successfully used art as a learning medium for its first year apprentices.

In partnership with Tate Liverpool, the engines manufacturer took part in the ‘Shaping Ideas’ initiative, a programme it first participated in during 2004. The scheme uses art to develop creative thinking based on workplace themes.

Some 60 trainees who joined Rolls-Royce last September attended a four-day course at Tate Liverpool under the guidance of artist Paul Needham and the gallery’s Naomi Horlock.

Workers explored general ideas and specific allocated theme words – time, transformation, chance, growth, space, distortion and repetition.

The aim of the course was to explore the wide variety of concepts and ways of working that artists have used over the past 100 years. The trainees had the opportunity to experiment with different ways of producing artwork.

Their resulting 25 sculptures are on display at the Rolls-Royce Learning and Career Development Centre until 26 May.

Lindsey Fryer, from Tate Liverpool, said: “Our programme for Rolls-Royce has grown out of a shared vision and sense of purpose to innovate and create new ways of working – bringing the worlds of art and business together.”

Paul Needham added: “One of the privileges of working with Rolls-Royce over the past five months has been sharing their thoughts and ideas.

“The trainees retained an essential sense of enquiry...and they discussed and shared their viewpoints, which lies at the heart of the creative process. The works they have created reflect this.”


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