Jaguar Land Rover, the UK's largest automotive employer, has completed the first cohort of a new and bespoke training course for ex-military personnel 'Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce: Military Programme.'
10 candidates began the new training course six weeks ago at the automotive manufacturer's Solihull plant, designed to give them confidence and employability skills to help them secure employment. The 10, who are currently unemployed since leaving the services, all then applied for the recently-announced 1,300 job vacancies at the plant and have successfully secured roles after passing the standard recruitment processes. They will shortly commence employment in the plant's brand new, world-class manufacturing facilities which will produce the new Jaguar XE.
One participant - Michael Connolly, aged 19, from Chelmsley Wood in Birmingham, said: "I spent three years as a Private in the Infantry and left as my contract had finished. All I have known is the Infantry and it's daunting to know how to find another career in the civilian world. The course has given me a great insight into manufacturing careers and, thanks to the support of the employees and training staff, I now have the skills and experience I need to work in this industry. I am really excited that I have secured a job with Jaguar Land Rover and I hope this will be the start of a new and fulfilling second career which will allow me to work up the career ladder."
Ex-Military Engineer Clive Smith, from Wolverhampton, joined the graduation ceremony and shared a few inspirational words: "It's great that Jaguar Land Rover is offering support to ex-military staff to help them prepare for job opportunities and ease their transition from military to civilian life. Ilost both legs in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan and was medically discharged from the Forces. It's really tough to know what to do and how to apply yourself. I was then hugely honoured to take partin the cycling event for the Invictus Games." This international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women was championed by Prince Harry where Jaguar Land Rover was presenting partner.
Jaguar Land Rover is committed to continuing on the Invictus Legacy and is also signed up to the Armed Forces corporate covenant which supports the reintegration of the military forces into successful civilian careers. 24,000 ex-military left the forces in 2014 and thousands more are expected to leave this year. Many of these will be Early Service Leavers, who depart before completing four years' service with no or few military qualifications and little civilian work experience, which can make it more difficult for them to find work.
The 'Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce: Military' programme has been developed by Jaguar Land Rover's education partner Birmingham Metropolitan College with support from the MOD's Future Horizons Programme and Job Centre Plus to help Early Service Leavers prepare for jobs in the automotive sector. The course builds on the company's 'Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce' traineeship programme which offers dedicated training for unemployed young people, aged 16 to 24, who have struggled to find a job.
Alan Volkaerts, Operations Director at Solihull, commented: "Jaguar Land Rover recruited over 100 ex-military personnel in 2014, the majority here in Solihull. We aim to increase this to 150 this year and be an employer of choice for military personnel who are leaving or have left the services. Ex-military staff have valuable skills that can be directly transferred to the automotive industry. By working with ex-military staff and helping them strengthen their employability skills and relevant work experience, we can make a positive contribution to society as well as increasing the talent pool for our growing business."
Jaguar Land Rover developed its traineeship and military courses as part of its Business in the Community 'Responsible Business of the Year' legacy programme, which aims to make a significant, long-term impact on local and global communities. Jaguar Land Rover was the first ever manufacturer to win the UK's top responsible business award in July 2013 for placing sustainability at the heart of its business strategy.
For more information or to apply for a place on the 'Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce: Military' course, go to http://www.bmetc.ac.uk/military or email email@example.com.