Jaguar Land Rover welcomes the announcement by Business Secretary Vince Cable of £11.3 million government funding for an Automotive Council UK skills development initiative. The financing matches £19.1 million automotive industry investment in a series of cross-sector programmes that will inspire the next generation of vehicle makers and create new routes into automotive careers.
The initiative has been developed by the Automotive Council, a joint UK government-industry association, and will introduce a range of programmes that will benefit all companies in the UK automotive supply chain. Manufacturers will work together to identify and meet the sector's skills needs, create an industry-standard jobs framework and ensure the UK automotive industry is in pole position for future growth. Young people will also gain first-hand experience of the industry in action, inspiring future generations of engineers and technicians.
Jaguar Land Rover's head of Technical Excellence, Jo Lopes, chairs the Automotive Council's Industrial Partnership and has played a central role in driving the work, which will help ensure the future competitiveness of the UK automotive industry.
Commenting on the announcement, Jo Lopes said: "The Automotive Industrial Partnership brings together industry's employers on an unprecedented scale. By working collaboratively and taking an innovative and sector-wide approach, we are ensuring that the UK's automotive sector can grow and retain the skills talent that is so vital for the industry's continued success."
He continued: "Jaguar Land Rover is committed to investing in skills, both in terms of our own workforce, and also through our wider work with the Automotive Council, government, skills agencies and our suppliers. Innovative approaches such as the initiative announced today are vital in enabling UK manufacturing to grow and compete globally."
Jaguar Land Rover is at the heart of the renaissance of UK manufacturing, having invested over £10 billion, doubled its workforce to 32 thousand and more than doubled its sales over the past five years. Earlier this month it announced the creation of an additional 1,300 jobs at its Solihull plant to support further development of lightweight vehicle technologies.
The company is investing in people for its own future, including its award-winning and well-established Intermediate, Advanced and Higher apprenticeship and graduate programmes. Indeed, over the past four years Jaguar Land Rover has recruited some 2,000 people to its graduate programme and Advanced and Higher apprenticeships.
Jaguar Land Rover's investment in people also extends to the wider automotive supply chain and the company has set up a team to work closely with its supply chain on wider skills development. In addition to implementing a training programme to upskill its own employees, for example, it has extended this to its suppliers. This includes expanding its 'Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme' to its suppliers to allow their employees to access MSc level training modules at leading UK universities.
The company also encourages more talented young people to aspire to careers in engineering and manufacturing, engaging with more than 320,000 every year through a range of education initiatives to inspire the next generation of engineers.