JAGUAR Land Rover is extending its programme to recruit ex-military personnel as dealership technicians following a successful trial period.
The scheme, which the manufacturer is running in conjunction with charity Mission Motorsport, trains ex-service personnel for technical roles in the workshops of JLR dealerships across the UK.
The trial phase of the programme was a huge success, with six ex-soldiers securing positions in JLR’s retail network. The second stage of the scheme is to follow with another wave of trainees.
The programme is part of JLR’s long-term plan to hire 1,000 former members of the armed forces by 2020. The target was set in 2013 and, since then, 750 ex-service personnel have been recruited. Participants are given technical, electronic and mechanical training at the JLR Academy in Warwickshire.
JLR has been working with Mission Motorsport since 2014, aiding the charity in its Armed Forces Engagement Programme, which has so far helped 800 ex-military personnel find employment.
Phil Cannell, JLR Technical Academy Manager, said: ‘This intensive, fast-track programme aims to capture the unique and transferable skills of armed forces personnel, giving them an opportunity to forge new careers as retail vehicle technicians.
‘It addresses the challenges of supporting military into civilian careers while providing our retailers with the highest calibre of staff.’
Joshua Gelder joined the military aged 17 and took part in the training scheme. He now works at Inchcape JLR in Chester and said: ‘I applied for the opportunity because I knew Jaguar Land Rover had a strong connection with the military.
‘I wanted to find something that would develop the skills I had gained in the military and allow me to feel part of a team again. The course really helped take my practical and theoretical skills to the next level.’
Rob Lummis, head of employee experiences at JLR, added: ‘The project is the first time that we’ve looked directly at how we can link our ex-service personnel in this way with vehicle technician roles, and we’re really pleased to see these people have settled in so well in their new jobs.
‘We’d like to thank the retailers who have already signed up to this initiative. They’ve got some great technicians.’
Simon Broughton, head of business at Hatfields JLR in Liverpool, where two of the newly trained technicians have been employed, said: ‘For us to employ and train someone for a level two technician role would usually take around a year, so this programme is fantastic in securing the right people, in a timely way, to support our customers.
‘Ex-forces personnel are very focused and structured thanks to the environment they’ve come from. Other retailers should consider signing up for this because the experience has been nothing but positive.’
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