September 14, 2015
British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is taking its apprenticeship and graduate programs to the next level by launching a lifelong learning academy for its workforce.
The program is the first of its kind and is being operated in conjunction with the University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the participation of other leading universities. The academy will help Land Rover bridge its business and training needs and ensure its employees possess a constantly-growing skillset that will help the company succeed, while employees will receive an education and develop new skills to advance their careers, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship and to its workforce.
Jaguar Land Rover Academy is available to all of the brand’s employees, from ambitious new entrants to lifelong employees hoping to take their careers to the next level. The education will be tailored to the needs of different roles and functions and will adapt to changing business needs.
Land Rover apprentices visit the engineer manufacturing center
Although the academy will at first be exclusive to United Kingdom employees, the brand plans to eventually make it available to all 36,000 of its employees worldwide.
“For me, our workforce is our most crucial asset and I see the Jaguar Land Rover Academy as the lifeblood of our organization,” said Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, in a statement. “The aim of the Academy is to maximize the talents of our workforce and give them new chances to develop their careers to the full.”
The academy continues Land Rover’s commitment to education. The brand has been recognized in the past as one of the United Kingdom’s premier graduate employers and trains more than 2,000 intermediate apprentices per year through its own apprenticeship program.
Land Rover also works with younger aspirants through Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers, an award winning program that works with children and adolescents on science, technology, engineering and math subjects to foster the next generation of engineers, as well as the Young Women in the Know program, which gives women the skills they need to enter the male-dominated engineering field and automotive industry.
Young Women In The Know
Days after the announcement, Land Rover revealed that it has taken in 600 graduates and apprentices to become the first entrants into the academy, a class size larger than any previous Jaguar apprenticeship or graduate program.
Land Rover's new apprentices and graduates
"The Jaguar Land Rover Academy will ensure the industry has the skills it needs for years to come,” said Nick Boles, skills minister at Jaguar Land Rover, in a statement. “The Academy highlights the company’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers and manufacturers. Companies like Jaguar Land Rover are encouraging talented people to build lifelong careers and in turn boost the country’s productivity.”
Other automakers are also looking toward apprenticeships to sustain excellence in the future.
Since April, German automaker Audi has giving job hunters a leg-up with a new Web site that demystifies the apprenticeship journey.
The Web site is intended to help Audi identify and groom the best young talent in Britain for positions across the company. As job markets across Europe recover, brands will have to be more competitive in their recruitment of talent. (see story).
Other British automakers have also utilized apprenticeship to find future employees.
In May, Bentley revealed that following its announcement that it would be accepting the most apprentices in 25 years in 2015 it received the largest number of applications in its history.
For the 63 open positions, Bentley was sent 1,285 applications, with which it then conducted interviews and assessments to decide who was placed in the three-year program beginning this month (see story).
Still, Land Rover is unique in turning an apprenticeship, not uncommon in the automotive sector, into a lifelong learning opportunity for all employees, current and prospective.
Forrest Cardamenis, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York