With as many as 6,500 about to be made redundant in British military, and employers facing a skill shortage that hasn’t been seen since 1997, Jaguar Land Rover is leading the way to help former personnel gain the skills needed to compete in the civilian workplace.
Automotive News reports the Anglo-Indian automaker, along with Ford and Bentley, has developed an apprenticeship program aimed at so-called early leavers — those who served in the military for less than three years — meant to prepare them “for work in the automotive industry and to help them develop the skills that they need to apply to the recruitment process” within the company or inside the industry as a whole, according to Jaguar community officer Kate Birkenhead.
Programs such as this are becoming popular in every industry, thanks to an expanded budget of £765 million ($1.3 billion USD) for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under Prime Minister David Cameron. In turn, 510,000 apprenticeships began between 2012 and 2013, though more will be needed to satisfy industrial and economic growth by 2020, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Aside from JLR, Ford and Bentley are establishing their own programs to help ready those seeking a career in the automotive industry, especially when 2 million vehicles might roll off the line in 2017, breaking the previous record set in 1972. Ford is building a training center in Daventry, where the Ford Masters Apprenticeship will be hosted, while Bentley aims to open a technical college with the help of Manchester Metropolitan University and Siemens AG by 2016.