Jaguar Land Rover sets out plans to hire 5,000 en­gi­neers

The Guardian - - NATIONAL BREXIT - Katie Allen

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.

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