Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest automotive employer, welcomed Dr. Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to open its cutting-edge Education Business Partnership Centre (EBPC).
The Education Centre, located at Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich Advanced Manufacturing Centre, is bright and modern and uses cutting-edge technology following a £250,000 investment from Jaguar Land Rover and delivery partner Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMET). The Education Centre originally opened in 1998 and has hosted visits for more than 85,000 young people and teachers, offering a unique insight into the plant’s cutting-edge manufacturing facilities.
The EBPC reflects the company’s commitment to technology and innovation and includes interactive iPad stations which students use to complete modules after plant tours. The area also has new robot control technology so students can learn how to control and manipulate miniature robots, similar to those used on the production line. The open-plan teaching area, which can accommodate a Jaguar F-TYPE to support visits, engages and inspires young people and has set the new quality benchmark for the company’s EBPCs.
Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said, “The next generation of engineers are fundamental to driving growth in the automotive industry. That’s why I‘m delighted to open Jaguar Land Rover’s innovative education centre during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. The centre will be at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in training our future car creators and makers, and will give young people the chance to fulfil their potential in a world-leading manufacturing environment.”
Mike Wright, Executive Director, Jaguar Land Rover, added, “The Automotive sector is incredibly competitive and needs more engineers, which offers an excellent opportunity to young people. It is critical that Jaguar Land Rover attracts the next generation of engineers and innovators to help our business achieve its ambitious plans for growth.
The new high tech Castle Bromwich EBPC demonstrates our commitment to education and will play an important role engaging and nurturing future talent from local schools. The courses on offer at the Education Centre help youngsters develop key employability skills and world of work awareness which will prepare them for a rewarding career on Jaguar Land Rover’s industry leading apprenticeship programme.”
Chloe McNally, Jaguar Land Rover Advanced Apprentice based in Special Vehicle Operations, commented, “I took part in the ‘Young Women in the Know’ course hosted by the Education Centre in 2012 which showed me what opportunities were available to women in Jaguar Land Rover. I thought manufacturing plants would be dirty, noisy and not suitable for females but the reality was very different and it was great to meet so many women from across the business and hear about their careers. Taking part in the course persuaded me to change my career plan from civil engineering to manufacturing and I’m so pleased I did. I joined the company on my apprenticeship two years ago and would thoroughly recommend it. As well as college studies, I work on bespoke premium vehicles for customers across the globe and every day brings a different challenge.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s school education programme ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’ works in collaboration with schools and colleges to promote learning and engagement on STEM subjects to help inspire young people to consider careers in engineering and manufacturing. Key elements of the programme include dedicated education centres in the local areas close to Jaguar Land Rover facilities, imaginative hands-on ‘Challenge’ projects for groups of school pupils, plus a wide variety of work experience opportunities for young people of different ages. The Castle Bromwich Education Business Partnership Centre (EBPC) is one of five Jaguar Land Rover Education Business Partnership Centres across the business.