Jaguar Land Rover sets out plans to hire 5,000 engineers
Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled plans to recruit 5,000 engineers over the next year in a boost for British industry as Brexit talks begin.
The carmaker has enjoyed a record year of sales bolstered by demand for luxury cars in China and North America and needs thousands of recruits, predominantly in the UK, to help develop new models including electric cars.
JLR is the country’s biggest car manufacturer and has been held up by ministers as a poster child for British manufacturing. It is also one of the UK’s largest exporters, with about 80% of its £24bn annual revenues generated from cars sold abroad.
Its expansion plans will bolster hopes that the UK’s export sector can help offset some of the domestic pressures on the economy in the years ahead as household budgets continue to be squeezed by weak pay growth and rising inflation on the back of the Brexit-battered pound.
The pound’s weakness since the referendum last summer has made imports more expensive but has been a boon to some exporters because it makes their goods more competitive overseas. The exchange rate effect has also helped businesses with big overseas earnings.
JLR, owned by India’s Tata group, said that more than 1,000 of the 5,000 engineering recruits would be electronic and software engineers. Faced with chronic skills shortages in the sector, the carmaker believes it has come up with an innovative way to reach candidates from a wider pool and is working with Gorillaz to recruit people via the virtual band’s app.
Potential candidates will be set challenges in the app, including assembling the Jaguar I-Pace Concept, its first allelectric five-seater sports car. There will also be code-breaking challenges to test “curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem-solving skills”.
The company said: “The best performers will be fast-tracked through the recruitment process, helping to meet Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to employ thousands of bright new talents over the next year.
“It’s a major change in the way the business looks for candidates, aiming to tackle the engineering skills gap and inspire and attract a diverse range of talent and new thinking.”
The company said it would also accept applications via traditional routes such as the JLR careers website. JLR’s main UK manufacturing and engineering sites are in Solihull and Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, Gaydon in Coventry, Wolverhampton and Halewood in Liverpool.