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Thousands of new jobs as Jaguar Land Rover to expand AGAIN

The expansion would see Jaguar Land Rover boost its UK workforce by 15 per cent to more than 40,000 staff

Jaguar Land Rover has announced another jobs boost with plans to recruit 5,000 new employees.

It has emerged the manufacturing giant wants to bring in engineers and technical staff over the next 12 months as part of its drive to deliver the cars of the future.

The expansion would see Jaguar Land Rover boost its UK workforce by 15 per cent to 42,000 staff - and is bound to principally benefit the West Midlands.

Part of the recruitment drive is about securing the skills of some of the world’s best electronic and software engineers with an estimated 1,000 roles to fill.

To find the right candidates the car maker has revealed it is launching an innovative partnership with the band Gorillaz.

Although it is not known at this stage where the jobs would be based it is highly likely many will be at Jaguar Land Rover’s growing operations at Castle Bromwich, Whitley and Gaydon.

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That would tie in with an ambitious vision outlined by Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive Ralf Speth late last year.

In November 2016 Mr Speth spoke of his desire for Coventry to be at the heart of the firm’s growth plans as a ‘smart’ motor city, helping the UK to lead the world in autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.

Since then the firm has started further expansion at Whitley and most recently opened its huge Classic Works operation at Ryton, the largest facility of its kind in the world.

Mr Speth also suggested Coventry could be at the heart of Jaguar’s electric vehicle production.

Later this year the car maker will launch its first electric vehicle (EV), the Jaguar I-Pace.

It is set to be produced in Austria under contract by Magna Steyr, but Jaguar Land Rover has pledged it will be the first of many, with large-scale production set to take place in the UK further down the line.

Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf Speth
Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf Speth

Last month plans for a National Battery Prototype Centre, developed by Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), were announced. If the scheme gets government backing, as is widely expected, it is thought as many as 10,000 jobs could be created.

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Automotive industry expert David Bailey, who formerly worked at Coventry University and is now based at Aston Business School, said: “The European car market is rapidly turning away from diesels in the wake of the Volkswagen crisis, with consumers spooked by fears over tighter regulations, restrictions on diesels in cities, and uncertainty over residual values of cars.

“Car firms like Jaguar Land Rover are accelerating a shift into EVs and hybrids.

Land Rover Discovery production at Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull.
Land Rover Discovery production at Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull.

“Jaguar Land Rover in particular has been far too slow to get into the burgeoning EV market and is now playing catch-up with the likes of Tesla and BMW.

“Given such shifts, and the move into autonomous and connected cars, electronics and software are increasingly key for new cars.”

Jaguar Land Rover is keen to recruit the brightest technical minds from across the globe through its innovative partnership with the band Gorillaz.

Potential applicants will be able to download a Gorillaz app and try to crack a code-breaking challenge. Those who succeed will be fast-tracked through the recruitment process without the need for a CV.

Alex Heslop, head of electrical engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As the automotive industry transforms over the next decade, fuelled by software innovation, we have to attract the best talent and that requires a radical rethink of how we recruit.

“Here we’ve found an engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance. It will be the first of its kind.”

Mr Bailey added: “In so doing so Jaguar Land Rover aims to pay more attention to skills rather than qualifications, and also attract more women.

“It’s not clear where the 5,000 new staff will be located, but many of the 1,000 new software and electronic engineers are likely to be based in the Midlands given it is the centre of Jaguar Land Rover’s R&D activities with bases at Gaydon and Whitley and close links with local universities and high-tech suppliers.

“Recruiting so many staff is a huge vote of confidence in the UK as a place to develop cars.”

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