Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) reaffirming its commitment to the development of excellence and engineering. The memorandum outlines the ways in which the two organisations will work together to ensure that JLR engineers remain global leaders in their field with the skills, knowledge and expertise to drive the business forward.
This MoU builds on a long standing relationship with IMechE and reflects the need for the UK to maintain its engineering pedigree. To support this JLR and the IMechE have outlined some 'principles of cooperation' to aid the development of professional engineers. The IMechE will deliver tailored training and technical programmes furthering the skills and technical capabilities of JLR engineers. Concurrently, JLR will support its engineers within appropriate disciplines to undertake programmes of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The memorandum was signed by Bob Joyce, Group Engineering Director CEng FIMechE and Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive of the IMechE. Speaking of the signing, Joyce said, 'As a fellow of the Institution, I am passionate about the development of engineering talent. I'm really pleased to be able to sign the MoU with the IMechE to enhance our work together. Continued up-skilling of existing engineers will enable development of new technical skills for future technology innovation and the use of new scientific and technological solutions to improve the performance and efficiency of our cars and manufacturing processes.'
JLR is the leading premium automotive business in the UK, built around two great British car brands that design, engineer and manufacture in the UK. JLR is led by advanced design, engineering and technology, investing £1.5 billion per annum on product creation over the next five years. To achieve these ambitious plans, JLR employs a world class team of over 4,000 engineers and designers. JLR is committed to enhancing the skills embedded in its current engineering workforce and has developed a Technical Accreditation Scheme, which covers a number of highly relevant technical courses to meet the skills required for the next decade covering a whole range of low carbon, infotainment and next generation electronics and powertrain technologies. These modules are undertaken at a number of leading UK universities, some of which also deliver Masters level and accredited modules. More than 500 engineers have already been through the scheme and at least 2000 more will go through the process in the next three years. This will be opened out to the supply chain and other engineering companies, improving the skills of the whole engineering community for the future.
Jo Lopes, JLR Head of Technical Excellence, 'Jaguar Land Rover and the IMechE have built a close working relationship over many years in relation to the promotion and benefits of professional accreditation. The signing of an MoU will help us build on this strong partnership and expand areas of collaboration to support JLR's continuing growth at the centre of the UK's automotive industry.'
Meanwhile JLR says it has been inundated with over 8,000 job applications since launching its recruitment drive for 1000 brand new job opportunities last week. The new positions will be created in the firm’s Land Rover factories in Solihull, where approximately 5,000 individuals are currently employed. The new positions will raise the plant’s personnel numbers by over 25%. JLR explained that the news means that in 2011 in excess of 3,500 job positions have been recruited for which includes corporate positions in finance and purchasing.
In April the firm released plans for 1,000 new engineering jobs within the West Midlands area, with the most of these now employed at Whitley and Gaydon.The firm is said to be delighted by the high quality of job seekers applying for production and skilled trades positions. It is hoped that these new jobs will help JLR to achieve their aim of boosting output over the next five years. Des Thurlby, head of human resources at JLR, stated that 'the company will operate a strong selection process and people are encouraged to continue to submit applications through the website, and every applicant will receive an answer'. He went on to say that 'Jaguar Land Rover is an extremely exciting place, and in spite of what some people say, you will find remarkable engineering expertise in Great Britan and especially in the West Midlands.'
JLR has stated its ambition of delivering 40 major product actions within the next five years, which may consist of brand new models or perhaps derivatives of existing vehicles.