From education to employment

Jaguar Land Rover partners with BMC to create engineering leaders

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) hopes a new initiative in the West Midlands could help produce and foster Britain’s next batch of world-beating engineers.

The automotive giant will team up with Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMC) to encourage students to consider engineering as a potential career option.

Through the JLR Education Business Partnership Centres (EBPCs) in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, the partnership will deliver Interactive Learning Programmes for local schools and colleges.

The centres will give pupils an insight into life at JLR and there will be opportunities to tour their manufacturing operations to see first-hand the skills and techniques that go in to producing their vehicles.

This will complement practical interactive classroom sessions linked to the national curriculum giving pupils  the chance to program robots and take part in a Land Rover Experience off-road demonstration.

With the engineering industry needing to recruit 500,000 skilled workers in the next five years, Christine Braddock, principal and chief executive of BMC, is keen to be part of the solution.

She said: “We are delighted, as part of this new initiative, to be able to expose pupils to the breadth of careers in engineering which are available to them.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with JLR as part of this fantastic project. We very much welcome the opportunity to work with a company that is as passionate as we are about providing relevant skills training for young people.”

BMC specialises in providing high-level technology and advanced manufacturing training to 8,500 full-time 16-19-year-olds and over 35,000 full or part-time adults and already has links with a number of global brands including Samsung and Caterpillar.

JLR executive director Mike Wright is keen to further his company’s commitment to corporate responsibility and recognises the need for businesses to support the young people living around them.

He said: “At JLR, we believe that education is essential if the UK is to foster a future generation of designers and engineers.

“Our EBPCs and national educational initiatives allow us to push the STEM agenda (science, technology, engineering and maths) and our work is recognised by Business in the Community’s Community Mark, the national standard of excellence for community investment. Our EBPCs hosted 20,000 students in 2011 and a further 213,000 took place in our national education initiatives. Only through engagement with young people at school, college or university can we develop a truly capable and skilled workforce able to compete on a global stage.”

Oliver Porritt

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