Our People


Promote diversity and prioritise and nurture the wellbeing and skills development of employees and the communities that they are part of

050A9562SM 15 2 (Custom)

Our Sustainability improvement objectives

  • Drive our businesses to ensure the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing for their people, as well as the protection of human rights, and encourage positive contributions to the communities in which they operate.¬†
  • Implement effective policies and procedures, supported by local management accountability and a culture of strong awareness, training and investment in employees, to drive health and safety best practice.
  • Ensure the pension schemes that we inherit are managed prudently and effectively for both employees and retirees, and where relevant seek to create better funded schemes with more prudent targets under our stewardship.¬†
  • Promote inclusion and diversity at all levels.¬†
  • Promote fair employment and skills development.¬†
  • Ensure that our people have a voice and can inform executive decisions.


SDG 03
SDG 05
SDG 08

The Melrose Code of Ethics reinforces our Group sustainability principles and provides our businesses with clear guidance as to how the Board expects them to conduct business, and the consequences of noncompliance. ‚Äč

The Melrose Code of Ethics outlines the policies and procedures in place to drive best practice and to promote diversity and inclusion at all levels. The code has been approved by the Board and can be downloaded below.

Employee engagement

Melrose Skills Fund


Melrose Skills Fund

The Melrose Skills Fund was launched in 2019 to provide the financing to develop the capabilities required to build the UK’s industrial base, and is utilised by our GKN Aerospace, GKN Automotive and Brush.

With a commitment to invest £10 million over five years through the creation of STEM programmes, apprenticeships and degrees to invest in manufacturing hubs, digital skills, and employee development, Melrose is helping to equip the UK with the future skills it needs to grow its industrial skillset.

Simon Peckham, Chief Executive

Policies & Statements

Chairman's Statement

A great place to work

For our businesses to perform well and achieve their potential, it is important to nurture an engaged, capable and enthusiastic workforce. We want our people to enjoy the work they do, and to trust that their safety and wellbeing is our priority. We value and champion diversity in its broadest sense and drive our businesses to create working environments that encourage and nurture employees to grow, develop and act with integrity.

Employee engagement

Melrose Skills Fund


Melrose Skills Fund

The Melrose Skills Fund was launched in 2019 to provide the financing to develop the capabilities required to build the UK’s industrial base, and is utilised by our GKN Aerospace, GKN Automotive and Brush.

With a commitment to invest £10 million over five years through the creation of STEM programmes, apprenticeships and degrees to invest in manufacturing hubs, digital skills, and employee development, Melrose is helping to equip the UK with the future skills it needs to grow its industrial skillset.

Simon Peckham, Chief Executive

Policies & Statements

Chairman's Statement

Employee engagement

We recognise the importance of engaging with our employees in a meaningful way to support their development and for us to deliver better business performance. We and our businesses regularly consult with employees across the Group, and we are highly responsive in addressing employee concerns.

During the course of the year, all of our businesses undertook all-employee engagement surveys. Upon receipt of survey results, the relevant information is shared with the businesses’ executive teams, plant directors, HR teams and other people leaders. These results are then further analysed through such mediums as employee focus groups. Across all our businesses, action plans are developed to help address areas for improvement, be that on a global, site or individual team level. The survey feedback and resulting measures are then shared with employees through various other engagement tools, such as town hall meetings.

In 2019, Melrose established a Group Workforce Advisory Panel (‚ÄúWAP‚ÄĚ) to enable key views of the workforce to be heard and considered by our businesses‚Äô executive teams where they can have maximum impact. The WAP reports to the Board annually to provide visibility and oversight of key workforce views, which are then discussed at Board meetings. Such oversight by the Board also ensures that the WAP and its underlying engagement processes are operating effectively for each business.


Employee engagement

The WAP is chaired by a member of the Melrose senior management team and comprises the Chief Human Resources Officer (or equivalent) from each business. Each member of the WAP is responsible for promoting workforce engagement, disseminating information and collating the voice of their workforce. Each member of the WAP is in turn responsible for demonstrating how key workforce views are fed into executive management decisions, as well as ensuring that the workforce is aware of their impact on such executive management decisions. One of the key workforce views in 2021 related to learning and development opportunities. Please refer to the talent and career management section further down this webpage for examples of how this has been addressed.

Melrose requires all of its businesses to safeguard the contractual and statutory employment rights of their respective employees. Each business is also encouraged to maintain constructive relationships with employee representative bodies, including unions and works councils. We respect the rights of workers across all businesses to participate in collective bargaining and freedom of association. Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively in relation to a host of employee-related matters. Workers’ representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace. Trade union membership fluctuates year-on-year depending on the Group composition. In 2021, 25,550 (64%) of our employees belonged to a recognised trade union (2020: 40%)(1).

Melrose and each of its businesses pay all UK employees at least the real living wage, save for year-in industry students (of which there were seven in the Group as at 31 December 2021), who are paid in accordance with the national minimum wage rates for their age group. In addition, Melrose and each of its businesses offer all employees in the UK the opportunity to work for at least 15 hours per week.

In addition to regular communications with representative bodies, during 2021 a number of event-driven consultation processes with relevant union representatives took place following the difficult decisions to close unviable GKN Automotive sites in Erdington, UK and Firenze, Italy. These decisions are never taken lightly, and we strive to treat people fairly and with open and clear communication. The closure of the Erdington assembly site was announced in January 2021. Despite significant effort and investment over the last ten years to reduce operating costs, the site remained heavily loss-making. Throughout the redundancy consultation process, GKN Automotive worked with employees, unions and employee representatives to provide support to those affected. In November 2021, it was announced that the 519 employees had accepted a revised redundancy package, and the plant is due to close in 2022. For Firenze, a process which involved local and national government, we were able to secure a reindustrialised future for the site with a new owner.

Group employees as at 31 December 2021
Permanent employees
of which:
Full-time employees 37,336
Part-time employees 895
Temporary employees 1,056
Apprentices 759
Total 40,046

(1) Data was collected 99% (by headcount) of the Group in 2020 and 2021.


With every acquisition, Melrose seeks to strengthen pension scheme arrangements for the benefit of employees and retirees. We take pride in having substantially improved all of the UK pension schemes under our ownership, with many of them becoming fully funded on departure from the Group. 

For example, under Melrose ownership, the McKechnie UK pension scheme was improved from 58% funded at acquisition to more than fully funded upon leaving the Group, and the FKI UK pension scheme was improved from 87% funded at acquisition to fully funded upon its departure from the Group. 

Both of those schemes were sold into Honeywell International Inc., a US-listed group with the financial covenant strength expected of a market capitalisation exceeding US$140 billion



Our focus on strengthening pension schemes begins from when we acquire a new business, and the GKN pension schemes are the latest example of this. The GKN UK defined benefit pension schemes had been chronically underfunded, and we were proactive, transparent and constructive in agreeing commitments with pension trustees during the acquisition of GKN. Prior to acquiring GKN, we committed to providing up to £1 billion of funding contributions, which included doubling annual contributions to £60 million, and providing £150 million of upfront contributions. In our short period of ownership, we have met our commitments and have significantly strengthened the pension schemes. For example, so far we have:

  • Eliminated the GKN UK defined benefit pension scheme accounting deficit.¬†
  • Applied more secure funding targets of Gilts +25 basis points (GKN 2016 scheme prior to buyout) and Gilts +75 basis points (GKN 2012 schemes 1-4) to achieve more prudent funding targets.¬†
  • Rebalanced the GKN schemes across the GKN businesses to avoid overburdening any one business and to provide stability and better security for members.¬†
  • Having funded the GKN 2016 scheme to 115%, arranged a buyout with an appropriate insurer that secures the futures of over 8,000 pensioners‚Äô member benefits. Our model for ensuring the long-term prosperity of our businesses‚Äô pension schemes is founded on the following principles:¬†
  • Improve funding targets to ensure improved financial health for the long-term sustainability of our businesses‚Äô pension schemes.¬†
  • Increase funding levels to begin an enhanced level of immediate support during our period of stewardship.¬†
  • Provide better structural and financial security to our businesses‚Äô pension schemes during our ownership.¬†
  • Insist on independent chairs to govern our businesses‚Äô pension schemes in accordance with governance best practice.

Securing our employees’ and retirees’ futures through responsible stewardship of their pensions is of strategic importance to the Board.

Reward and recognition

Our businesses have policies in place on recruitment, talent development and succession planning, supported by training programmes and effective management. Opportunities exist across all businesses for employees to discuss career development with their direct managers, and each business encourages internal applications for open positions. In 2021, 20% of open positions were filled by internal candidates (2020: 25%)(1) .


Reward and recognition

Where permitted by local laws and employee representative bodies, performance evaluations are undertaken across our businesses, with 45% of employees receiving a performance appraisal in 2020 (2019: 49%)(2). The reduction in performance evaluations in 2020 compared to 2019 was largely affected by COVID-19 induced lockdowns, as well as fewer employees in roles requiring annual performance evaluations in line with the guidance of local representative bodies. At the time of writing, performance evaluations for 2021 were ongoing. Annual salary reviews are aligned with performance evaluations to ensure that employees are paid fairly and correctly for the position they hold. In compliance with all applicable local laws relating to the provision of pensions, 32,936 (82%) of the Group’s employees (by headcount as at 31 December 2021) benefit from being a member of a companybased pension scheme.

Other forms of employee recognition are in place across our businesses to identify and reward individuals for their contribution. For example, GKN Aerospace hosts annual Excellence Awards which are open to all employees. In 2021, over 140 entries were received showcasing the fantastic work that is being done across the business and within local communities. Winners and highly commended entries were selected across eight categories and from seven countries. These categories included Living the Culture Principles, Health and Safety, and Quality and Customer Excellence. Ergotron has a range of recognition programmes in place such as referral bonuses, innovation awards, sales contest awards, ‚Äúshout out‚ÄĚ recognition, and anniversary awards including a recognition meeting with the CEO.

(1) Data was collected from 82% (by headcount) of the Group in 2017, 96% (by headcount) in 2018, 66% (by headcount) in 2019, 66% (by headcount) in 2020 and 100% (by headcount) in 2021.
(2) Data was collected from 97% (by headcount) of the Group in 2019 and in 2020.
(3) Data was collected from 82% (by headcount) of the Group in 2017, 97% (by headcount) in 2018, 98% (by headcount) in 2019, 98% (by headcount) in 2020 and 100% (by headcount) in 2021.

External recognition

We are proud that the strong workplace culture our businesses foster and the benefits this brings to both their employees and the communities has resulted in external recognition, with multiple industry awards received for excellence in technology, workplace culture, service and performance.

GKN Aerospace was recognised by the UK Ministry of Defence with the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, for its outstanding support to the UK Armed Forces community. In engineering and technology, GKN Aerospace also received the Special Award for Design Engineering at the 2021 British Engineering Excellence Awards for its role in the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, which built almost 15,000 ventilators for the UK Government during the start of the pandemic. The technology team was also named as a finalist in the 2021 Engineers magazine ‚ÄėCollaborate to Innovate Awards‚Äô for its 15-partner ‚ÄėSkybus‚Äô technology programme, to explore a novel transport network based around a large electric vertical take-off and landing (‚ÄúeVTOL‚ÄĚ) vehicle. GKN Aerospace also claimed the top prize at the Executive Platforms Awards 2021, a global awards event celebrating organisational culture. Success in the ‚ÄėBest Workplace Culture‚Äô category recognised the business‚Äôs roll-out of its Cultural Principles and internal engagement programme, called ‚ÄėGreat Place to Work‚Äô.

GKN Automotive won in the prestigious cooperation category at the 2021 CLEPA Innovation Awards for its 3-in-1 e-Drive system, developed in cooperation with Jaguar Land Rover. This technology provides zero-emissions plug-in hybrid capability to several new 2020/21 OEM premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (‚ÄúPHEVs‚ÄĚ). In addition, GKN Automotive‚Äôs Brazil site received the Top Ser Humano Award from the Brazilian Association of Human Resources, acknowledging the focus on employee engagement through participation in the improvement of its processes.

Ergotron was the proud recipient of the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies 2021 GOOD DESIGN ¬ģ Award for its TRACE‚ĄĘ Monitor Mount product, which adapts to the ergonomic needs of each employee to create agile workspaces that encourage healthy movement, productivity and collaborative spirit.

Gender pay gap reporting

The gender pay gap indicates the percentage difference in the mean and median base and bonus pay between all employees in the workforce. Gender pay gap reporting legislation in the UK requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish information every year indicating the pay gap between their male and female employees. This legislation is currently applicable to two companies within the Group.

GKN Aerospace Services Limited saw its trend in median gender pay gap markedly improve in 2020, having reported a median gender pay gap of 11.8% (2019: 14.7%). Its gender pay gap was significantly smaller than the UK’s national average median gender pay gap (15.4%) and the company also achieved a materially smaller median gender pay gap than the industry average for manufacturing companies (15.0%)(1).

Each of our Group companies that are required to report on their 2021 data will do so by the 4 April 2022 deadline.

(1) Source: Office for National Statistics Gender Pay Gap Tables 1.12 and 16.12.

Diversity and Inclusion

We prioritise creating and maintaining a diverse, inclusive and safe environment within our businesses. We recognise the importance of diversity in building a highcalibre workforce, and we are committed to championing diversity in the broadest sense. We are actively engaged in finding ways to increase diversity across the Group, and the sectors in which our businesses operate.

Melrose ensures that entry into, and progression within, the Group is based on aptitude and the ability to meet set, fair criteria outlined in job descriptions. For any employees with a disability, we take steps to ensure reasonable adjustments are made where required. Melrose is proud to be a member of the Business Disability Forum, a not-for-profit member organisation that works with the business community to understand the changes required in the workplace for disabled persons to be treated fairly, so that they can contribute on an equal-opportunity basis to business success, society and economic growth. The Melrose Code of Ethics highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion, and is supported by our Board of Directors’ Diversity policy and a Diversity and Inclusion policy for Melrose more generally, both of which are reviewed and approved each year by our Nomination Committee.

Diversity & Inclusion

Promoting diversity at all levels

Melrose leads its businesses by example, starting at Board level. The Board requests diverse candidates within shortlists, and two of the most important roles on the Board, being the Senior Independent Director and the Chairman of the Audit Committee, are held by a woman. Further, 100% of Non-executive Director appointments within the last four years have been women, including the most recent two appointments made in 2021, and no departures from the Board have been women.

As at 31 December 2021, Melrose had 42% female representation on its Board, exceeding the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% female representation at Board level. This has increased to 45% following the retirement of Mr Archie G. Kane on 31 December 2021.

Melrose also recognises other forms of diversity, and has achieved the Parker Review target of having one Director from an ethnic minority background on the Board by the end of 2021.

Diversity is valued below Board level. The Melrose Executive Committee, having been established in 2020, as at 31 December 2021 consisted of 36% female representation, with a total 37% female representation for the Executive Committee and direct reports, exceeding the HamptonAlexander Review target of 33% female representation within executive teams and their direct reports.

Whilst recognising that the Melrose ‚ÄúBuy, Improve, Sell‚ÄĚ strategy means that we inherit the shape of our workforces, our businesses are encouraged to promote diversity once they have entered the Melrose Group. Examples of current business unit initiatives include the creation of employee resource groups, focused diversity and inclusion programmes, and mandatory unconscious bias training for leaders.

In 2021 GKN Aerospace established six Employee Resource Groups (Connected Women, LGBTQ+, African, Black Caribbean Professionals Network, Veterans & Reservists, Future GKN, and Mastering Neuro-diverse Strengths). This followed the re-launch of its Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (‚ÄúDIB‚ÄĚ) policy along with the creation of a DIB Steering Committee in 2020. The business also has external partnerships to help promote diversity with OUTstanding (a network which commends LGBT+ executives and allies who are not only successful in their own careers but also in creating supportive workplaces for other LGBT+ people), and Where Women Work (an organisation which celebrates women‚Äôs achievements in the workplace while recognising the companies that support them).

In September 2021, over 50 women leaders from GKN Automotive’s locations in Brazil, Mexico, and the US participated in a Women in Leadership conference, which included sessions with senior female leaders from the business and input from external motivational experts on female progression.

Diversity unconscious bias training has also been rolled out within GKN Powder Metallurgy’s US sites as part of the onboarding process for new starters.

Ergotron continued its equity, diversity and inclusion programme through 2021, with a committee of 25 volunteers plus HR representatives designing infrastructure and educational opportunities. Three employee resource groups were established: People of Colour, Women in the Workforce, and Working Parents. In addition, new mandatory unconscious bias training for leaders has been implemented along with one-hour webinars offered to all employees throughout the year.

Through the Melrose Skills Fund, Melrose is working on a project to help improve socio-economic and ethnic diversity within the engineering sector as a whole. This project is being led by Enginuity, a not-forprofit organisation that leads on several initiatives to support the engineering and manufacturing sectors, and also involves input from Unite the Union. As part of the project, the team created an engineering task-orientated computer game contextualised for the aerospace sector with a focus on sustainable projects. The game was then piloted at secondary schools in the West Midlands and Bristol that met certain socio-economic and ethnic criteria in order to bring awareness to students of the engineering industry and potential job opportunities within it. The pilot project received positive feedback from students and teachers alike, and we are now working with Enginuity to roll out the game on a national scale.


Gender diversity at Board level

  Male Female
At 31 December 2021 7 (58%) 5 (42%)
At 31 December 2020 7 (70%) 3 (30%)
At 31 December 2019 7 (70%) 3 (30%)
  Male Female Total Male  (%) Female (%)
Total Group employees 32,204 7,842 40,046 80 20

Talent and Career Management

Skills development 

Melrose champions talent development and recognises the importance of investing in human capital. Our businesses are proactive in anticipating both short and long-term employment needs and skills requirements for the long-term success of their businesses. This is central to Melrose’s strategy to boost productivity and improve business performance. Extensive training opportunities are available and promoted to all workers at all stages of their careers to ensure that high skills levels are cultivated and maintained across the Group.

We are committed to promoting employee career development and life-long learning. Training programmes across the businesses start with new-hire onboarding programmes to accelerate knowledge and exposure to the business’s culture and objectives. All employees are encouraged to actively engage in their career development and a wide range of learning opportunities are available throughout their career, extending beyond functional skills development to personal development and leadership opportunities.

Leadership training is an integral part of ensuring the workforce remains engaged and innovative, whilst enabling the businesses to develop a diverse pipeline of successors for key roles and leadership positions. Annual talent reviews and regular check-ins between managers and employees identify individuals who have the ability and aspiration to grow into more stretching roles. Leadership training programmes are in place for high-performing employees to support their transition from individual contributor to first leadership position and beyond. The businesses have developed their own leadership programmes that are most relevant to their employees and organisations, with the programmes becoming increasingly popular and receiving positive feedback.


Talent and Career Management

GKN Aerospace has a global development programme in place for new leaders. The programme, called Set4Success, was launched in 2021 with over 300 participants. It was initially mandated to all team leaders and group leaders in the business for their progression through the Lean Operating Model once they had completed an assessment centre. The objectives of the global programme are to ensure that each leader has the core fundamentals of soft skills to complete their role effectively, to lead an engaged team that works productively together, and to improve their communication style and skills. The programme has received positive feedback from participants, including that it has improved their focus on leading an effective team, and that it has made them more aware of how they work with their team and their leadership style.

GKN Aerospace has also continued to operate its Future Leaders Development Programme and its Leaders of Leaders Development Programme. These programmes enable the business to assess potential and identify employees who have the ability and aspiration to grow into larger roles, and who are successors for key roles and leadership positions. Selected employees participate in a rigorous assessment programme and benefit from having an accelerated development plan put in place. So far, 100 employees have participated in the Leader of Leaders Development Programme and over 75 employees have participated in the Future Leaders Development Programme.

GKN Automotive has continued to operate its Accelerated Leadership Programme, which is underpinned by the business’s values and behaviours. The programme aims for its participants to: (i) stretch and challenge themselves through participating in a range of development activities; (ii) increase their self-awareness by gaining a deep insight into their strengths and development areas; and (iii) interact and network with other leaders across different regions globally. The programme is open to employees that lead transformational projects.

The GKN Powder Metallurgy Leaders Programme was launched in 2010, providing tools for middle management positions, such as plant and department managers, to learn the necessary skills for their current roles and next career steps. The programme was due to be relaunched in 2020; however, this was postponed due to the pandemic. A new cohort of 20 participants commenced the programme in 2021.

Ergotron launched its Leadership Toolkit in 2021, an on-demand resource for formal and informal leaders across the business. In addition, its Dongguan, China site hosted a six-day leadership workshop with the aim of creating a focused development plan for leadership across the three levels of the organisation. As well as leadership fundamentals, the workshop focused on increasing collaboration, building engagement and improving communication and feedback. In 2022, Ergotron plans to roll out a ten-week leadership fundamentals course with a focus on providing tools and training to build and strengthen collaboration between leaders.

In-person training programmes were largely put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, with training adapted to focus on supporting the remote workforce, with modules such as ‚Äėleading remote teams‚Äô and ‚Äėdriving collaboration remotely‚Äô introduced in a number of the businesses. Although the challenges of the pandemic remained in 2021, our businesses were better enabled to deliver flexible training programmes through a combination of online and in-person training, which is represented in the increased training time and spend per employee in 2021. Examples of training opportunities across the businesses include:

  • GKN Aerospace‚Äôs Lean Learning Academy, which was launched in 2020. The curriculum is designed to provide frameworks to improve health and safety, and to improve performance and reduce inefficiencies using the Lean Six Sigma principles. The Lean Learning Academy manages the Lean Learning Curriculum, the Six Sigma Learning Curriculum, and the accompanying certification programme. In 2021, there was a continued focus on lean capability building and certification, with over 4,250 people certified to lean foundation level, over 400 trained to lean advanced level, and over 150 certified to lean advanced level. In addition, over 300 people achieved the Six Sigma Green Belt, and the first Black Belt in Six Sigma was awarded.
  • GKN Powder Metallurgy‚Äôs wide range of training programmes on offer to its employees ensures key competencies are covered. It completes an annual organisational planning process focusing on career opportunities, succession planning and specific training needs across all locations. In 2021, it launched the Fusion training platform to help manage and track learning activities. This is currently available to employees within the US, and is being expanded to cover Brazil and Mexico in 2022.¬†
  • Ergotron improved a number of training opportunities throughout the year, including expansion of a new employee welcome programme, talent management programmes, and global performance management. The business also has a tuition reimbursement scheme offering up to US$5,250 to employees returning to school for a graduate programme or for ongoing education.
  2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Average training time per employee (hours)(1) 23 13 15 3 9 -
Average training spend per employee (£)(2) 209 166 222 126 142 152
Total number of training hours(3) 929,878 338,406 410,638 39,823 37,951 -
Total annual spend on workforce training (£)(4) 8,384,837 8,591,293  12,182,473 1,200,461  1,377,247 300,025

(1) Data was collected from 38% (by headcount) of the Group in 2017, 21% (by headcount) in 2018, 25% (by headcount) in 2019, 39% (by headcount) in 2020 and 100% (by headcount) in 2021. Data was not available in 2016.
(2) Data was collected from 99% (by headcount) of the Group.
(3) Data was collected from 38% (by headcount) of the Group in 2017, 21% (by headcount) in 2018, 25% (by headcount) in 2019, 39% (by headcount) in 2020 and 100% (by headcount) in 2021. Data was not available in 2016.
(4) Data was collected from 99% (by headcount) of the Group.

Apprenticeships and graduate programmes

Apprenticeship programmes assist with training a new generation of employees and help to ensure that knowledge is retained within the businesses. In 2021, over 750 apprenticeships were in place across the Group’s businesses, providing a mix of on-the-job and classroom training.


Apprenticeships across the Group


Female apprentices in GKN Aerospace
Bristol’s apprenticeship programme

Our People

Apprenticeships and graduate programmes

Aerospace Wing Of Tomorrow

GKN Aerospace runs a number of apprenticeship programmes. Its three-year high school programme admits 32 students annually, with the aim of transforming the students into highly skilled aerospace operators through gaining knowledge and experience of working with basic processes and manufacturing methods, as well as learning about materials and the industry’s very high quality requirements. The programme provides qualifications to apply to technical education at university level and prepares each individual for a career in engineering. Engineering apprenticeships are also available, combining learning practical skills with classroom studies, preparing individuals for a future career at the heart of engineering.

GKN Aerospace also sits on the Aerospace Trailblazer Apprenticeship Employer Group to help shape future apprenticeships, as well as being an employer partner for the West of England Institute of Technology, which focuses on advanced engineering and high value manufacturing. GKN Aerospace Bristol’s schools engagement team have been working on activities to recruit more female apprentices over the last five years. As a result, within the GKN Aerospace Bristol apprenticeship programme, 17% of the apprentice population is now female.

GKN Automotive runs an extensive apprenticeship programme with 524 apprentices in place at the end of 2021. The apprentices are largely located in Brazil, India and Spain, with the role and skills development dependent on local requirements. Female participation in the programme across these jurisdictions ranges from 13% to 25%, which typically exceeds female representation in the workforce in these countries.

Apprenticeships within GKN Powder Metallurgy combine learning practical skills with classroom studies and help to prepare apprentices for a future career in engineering. The business offers a formal apprenticeship programme in Germany and more localised opportunities within the US.

We also place a strong focus on training and developing graduates. In 2019, GKN Aerospace launched its Global Graduate Development Programme, a 27-month programme that provides a mix of real-world placements and structured development across the different business lines and functions, with the aim of preparing the graduates for strong and successful careers within the business. The programme has already delivered notable successes with UK and US graduates from the first cohort having won the GKN Aerospace Excellence Award in Sustainability for 2021, following the creation of the ME Sustainability e-Learning Modules, which can be widely used throughout the business to protect its people and the environment. The programme welcomed its third cohort in 2021.

GKN Automotive continues to support graduate recruitment and training through hiring at a more localised level, thereby better supporting the communities in which it works. It is currently recruiting for its 2022 UK Graduate Programme, which will start in September 2022. This is a two-year programme presenting graduate opportunities across the five strategic functions: Finance, Human Resources, Commercial, Communications, and Strategy.

GKN Powder Metallurgy runs graduate programmes in China and India, hiring local talent and developing them for the future needs of the business. GKN Powder Metallurgy also offers a two-year graduate development programme known as the Graduate Rotational Excellence Programme. The programme offers graduates a guaranteed oversees placement as well as peer and executive mentors to help build their knowledge and network and help the next generation of talent launch their careers.

Apprenticeship and graduate programmes across the GKN Aerospace and GKN Automotive businesses are supported by the Melrose Skills Fund. The Melrose Skills Fund was launched in 2019 to provide financing to develop the capabilities required to build the UK’s industrial base, with a commitment to invest £10 million over five years. As well as supporting apprenticeships and graduate programmes, the Melrose Skills Fund invests in STEM programmes, manufacturing hubs, digital skills and employee development, helping equip the UK with the future skills it needs to grow its industrial skillset.


Our businesses promote the social wellbeing of their employees by encouraging them to actively contribute to local charitable and community projects, and lead by example through the sponsorship of such projects. The Group made cash donations to not-for-profit charitable organisations in 2021 of £703,408 (2020: £634,221)(1). Our businesses continued to support their local communities through the continued impact of the pandemic. For example, GKN Aerospace in India responded to the local impact of the pandemic by donating dry ration kits to meet the basic needs of persons with disabilities, as well as providing nebulisers, hand wash, hand sanitisers and face masks for quarantine centres. Further, with hospitals and intensive care units in Brazil continuing to be under great stress, GKN Automotive in Brazil donated ten infusion pumps and a respirator to the Charqueadas hospital, near to the Porto Alegre plant. This much needed equipment will be used to continue to treat patients with COVID-19.

(1) Data was collected for 62% (by administration expenses) of the Group in Melrose Industries PLC 2020 and 100% in 2021.

050A9154SM 06 2 (Custom)

Melrose Skills Fund

Upon acquiring GKN in 2018, Melrose made public commitments aimed at building the UK’s industrial base through the creation of the Melrose Skills Fund, which would invest £10 million over five years.

Read more

In Focus

The Melrose Skill Fund

Aerospace Wing Of Tomorrow

It was initially intended that the Melrose Skills Fund would be directed by a Skills Board. However, we considered that time was best spent on immediately looking into projects and opportunities that we could invest into. Whilst the Melrose Skills Fund has been utilised for a number of varied projects, the following table demonstrates how we are meeting our commitments.

Commitment Achievements
Support our businesses through the Melrose Skills Fund  GKN Aerospace has utilised the Melrose Skills Fund to accelerate the upskilling of its technical workforce. In particular, GKN Aerospace has opened a Learning and Education Hub at its Global Technology Centre in Filton, UK, which will act as a facility for delivering future training programmes and STEM activities, such as active engagement with early careers in schools and colleges, and providing a local college with dedicated learning and training facilities.
Enhance and grow the current R&D facilities at GKN Automotive’s UK Innovation Centre in Abingdon   In 2021 alone, GKN Automotive utilised over £1.2 million of the Melrose Skills Fund to support its UK Innovation Centre in Abingdon. Part of this funding was used to support the creation and launch of its Advanced Research Centre, which is focused on developing next-generation e-Drive technologies for future electric vehicles. GKN Automotive has also partnered with the University of Nottingham and Newcastle University on the project, and the intention is to increase automotive electrification knowledge capability and strengthen research and development in the UK.
 Create 100 to 150 new apprenticeships in engineering, technology and science From 2018 up to 31 December 2021, 151 UK apprenticeship opportunities have been created within our GKN Aerospace and GKN Automotive businesses. 
 Support higher education colleges around our GKN Aerospace and GKN Automotive businesses in the South West, the Midlands and Oxford The Melrose Skills Fund has been utilised by GKN Automotive to support the IMechE Formula Student Programme. As part of the programme, university teams worldwide compete to build and race a track cart and develop technical and business strategies to market it. GKN Automotive has sponsored the University of Nottingham and Oxford Brookes University, providing mentoring, technical and test cell support to develop their electric drive trains. As a result, the University of Nottingham became the first team to compete with an electric vehicle, finishing third overall at Silverstone. 

Employee wellbeing

We recognise the increasing importance of taking a holistic approach to employee wellness by protecting physical health, mental health and social wellbeing. This helps to foster a positive workplace, and to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce. In line with our wider Group health and safety framework, employee wellbeing programmes are implemented at a business level to ensure they are relevant to each business and most impactful. This includes GKN Aerospace’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee, which shares best practice in supporting employees with mental health and wellbeing initiatives in each region, and its Think Health e-brochure, which highlights areas such as self-care and provides employees with information on support resources.

GKN Automotive, GKN Powder Metallurgy and Ergotron provide their employees with access to Employee Assistance Programmes (‚ÄúEAPs‚ÄĚ). The EAPs are designed to help employees and their families deal with difficult life issues on a free and confidential basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whilst the GKN Powder Metallurgy EAP is available to all employees and dependents, the GKN Automotive programme provides more localised assistance, and Ergotron‚Äôs EAP is available to all full time US employees.

In 2021, Ergotron created a wellness programme, which will be rolled out to employees in 2022. The programme aims to improve and promote the health and wellbeing of employees through education, communication, access to resources and a supportive work environment.

We also encourage our employees to drive their own initiatives. In GKN Automotive, employees at its site in Arnage, France are building a greater sense of belonging and increasing wellbeing through running and/or cycling together outside of work. They have created internal clubs which are accessible to all through dedicated webpages on the intranet.