Jaguar Land Rover wants to challenge and change perceptions of engineering amongst young women so more would consider a career in the industry. They are achieving this through a number of initiatives, including the Young Women in the Know programme.
Female students aged 15-18 visit Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing, design and engineering sites across the Midlands, meet female apprentices, graduates and managers and spend a day on work experience. The programme also helps young women improve their employability skills through workshops on completing job applications and interview techniques.
Linking the week-long course to apprentice recruitment has proved to be an important development – it has resulted in an increase in the number of women on their apprenticeship programme. In 2014 the proportion of female apprentices was 7.9%, rising to 18.8% in 2015. This year 22% of Jaguar Land Rover’s apprenticeship offers have been made to women.
Jaguar Land Rover is working with Eva Fryc, Tomorrow’s Engineers Employer Support Manager in the Midlands, to empower a core team of apprentices to deliver careers outreach activities with young people. Tomorrow’s Engineers is also helping that team create bespoke business-relevant activities that link to the existing careers materials for use by the wider apprentice cohort.
Young Women in the Know runs annually and 24 Midlands-based students will be recruited for the next course in October. Jaguar Land Rover uses this successful programme to widen the available talent pool and support the broader drive to attract more women into engineering careers.
Les Ratcliffe, Head of Community Relations, Jaguar Land Rover, commented, ‘The Young Women in the Know course is an excellent example of how our ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’ school education programme prepares young people for employment opportunities at Jaguar Land Rover. Bespoke courses such as Young Women in the Know, delivered by our Education Business Partnership Centre team, play a vital role attracting new talent to the business, increasing our talent pool and ensuring young people across the region have the skills and experience they need to pursue successful careers in engineering.”
Jaguar Land Rover has a well-established and growing apprenticeship programme and is the largest apprenticeship provider in the UK automotive sector. Last year 245 apprentices joined the company on advanced or degree apprenticeships, bringing the total over five years to 900 apprentices. Next steps include using the Tomorrow’s Engineers schools database to map impact and identify schools to work with to boost apprenticeship recruitment even further.