Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it aims to increase the number of ex-service men and women employed across its global operations to 1000 by 2020 – a five-fold increase on recruitment since 2013. This news came as the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer welcomed the start of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. The company has been Presenting Partner of the Invictus Games since the inaugural event in London in 2014 and has committed to continuing its support for the 2017 Games to be held in Toronto, Canada.
Ian Harnett, Executive Director of Human Resources at Jaguar Land Rover said: “It is fitting that this announcement comes ahead of the Invictus Games, an inspirational event that demonstrates the resilience and dedication of those in the armed forces. I am immeasurably proud that through our company, and the Jaguar Land Rover Learning Academy, we have been able to give hundreds of ex-service personnel the opportunity to rebuild their lives and careers.
“As the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer and a growing global business, we have an obligation to advance the skills and capability of the industry, and in doing so, provide opportunities for passionate people to unleash their full potential. That is why we are making it our mission to see the number of people recruited into our business from the military increase significantly in the coming years”.
Jaguar Land Rover has a long and proud history of supporting the military and today’s announcement further supports the company’s ambition to become the employer of choice for those leaving the forces.
Jaguar Land Rover recognises that skilled and talented people, such as those who have served in the forces, will enable it to deliver long-term sustainable growth.
A significant step in realising its targets is the introduction of a new programme to train and recruit up to 180 veterans across the company’s North American retail network. This initiative has been developed with CALIBRE Systems Inc.* and is the first major military programme for the company outside the UK.
At home, Jaguar Land Rover has recruited more than 200 ex-service men and women since it pledged its support to the 2014 Invictus Games. Some of these joined the business following training delivered through the Jaguar Land Rover Learning Academy. Created to provide ‘lifelong learning’ opportunities not only to its employees globally, but to others seeking bright futures in the automotive industry, the Academy delivers bespoke programmes for service leavers.
Since 2015 more than 30 service personnel have participated in the ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Workforce’ and ‘Wounded, Injured and Sick’** (WIS) programmes with 75 per cent of these finding roles at Jaguar Land Rover. Many others have gone on to find jobs in our supply chain and wider industry.
One such recruit is Luke Darlington, who participated in the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014. Luke, who served with 42 Commando, Royal Marines, suffered multiple serious injuries whilst on tour in Afghanistan. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) caused a severe shrapnel wound to his brain, leading to weeks in an induced coma and brain surgery to remove an abscess caused by infection. He went through months of strenuous rehabilitation at Headley Court and the Queen Elizabeth II Brain Injury Centre, but his short military service came to an end.
In November 2015 Luke joined the WIS programme, having heard about it during the Invictus Games. Luke said: “I was at home and feeling very depressed as I was not achieving anything in my day to day life. The WIS programme allowed me to develop new skills and re-ignite old ones which I had used in the military. I had not appreciated just how relevant experience in the Royal Marines could be to an automotive company. Since completing my training with Jaguar Land Rover my confidence has grown. I feel worthwhile again”.
Luke spent ten weeks on the programme on the Land Rover Defender production line and 4 in other functions across the business. So impressed were the team that, they offered him a permanent position as a Production Leader in Europe’s largest aluminium body shop at the Solihull manufacturing plant. Luke said: “The sense of achievement of being offered the job was fantastic, I felt like I belonged again. I had a sense of pride and purpose which was missing from my life, something I thought I was never going to get back once I left the Marines. The support I had from Jaguar Land Rover, the Royal Marines Charity, the RBL and Mission Motorsport was fantastic and I would recommend the programme to anybody”.
Jaguar Land Rover’s work, as a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, continues to push boundaries and led to the company being presented with a gold award for its active support of the Armed Forces. The firm also continues its support of service charities including Mission Motorsport, Help for Heroes, Rally for Heroes, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and individual regimental associations. In October, the company sponsored the Walking With the Wounded Walk of Britain to raise awareness and retraining of wounded veterans leaving the Armed Forces.