Jaguar Land Rover is looking beyond the recession with plans to recruit more than 40 apprentices.
The company, which has cut nearly 1,500 jobs in the past six months, has underlined its faith in the future with a recruitment programme offering over 40 Advanced Apprenticeships.
The career opportunities for the engineering talent of the 21st century are available to enthusiastic youngsters aged 16 and upwards.
The apprenticeships consist of a 36-48 month programme, with the initial period at college. During this time young recruits would earn an NVQ2 in performing engineering operations, an NVQ3 in the chosen trade pathway and a Technical Certificate, as well as developing wider key skills.
In January, JLR opened its new Technical Academy at Warwick to train its own and its dealers’ apprentices.
The investment in youth comes as JLR battles the toughest sales climate for decades, with job loss programmes and production cutbacks.
The Tata-owned group, which has been pressing for a £500 million Government-backed loan guarantee to help get sales moving again, axed 850 agency workers in the run-up to Christmas and has called for a total of 600 voluntary redundancies in two separate job loss programmes. And more than 8,000 production workers have accepted a one-year pay freeze and a four-day week in return for no compulsory job losses for two years.
But Des Thurlby, human resources director at JLR, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is committed to the training and development of a world-class workforce.
“The Advanced Apprenticeship programme is another important step in ensuring a future generation of engineering talent to drive the business forward.”
Part of a trainee’s role within JLR involves visiting local schools to promote apprenticeships to pupils.
Other initiatives taken by the company to promote the world of the automotive industry to youngsters include a “Sons and Daughters at Work” day.
On March 11, employees’ children aged between 11 and 18 were invited to the Gaydon Design and Engineering Centre and Solihull factory to shadow their parents in their field of work.
They were also given careers advice and a tour of the facilities to provide a better understanding of possible career opportunities.
At the end of the initial training period, apprentices will start work at Castle Bromwich, Gaydon, Halewood, Solihull or Whitley, continuing studies on a day-to-day basis, with the opportunity to complete a City & Guilds, HNC or foundation degree, depending on business needs. The application process is open until May 5, 2009.