London: Tata owned Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) has announced a major drive to recruit 600 engineers and technical staff to work on its £700-million projects to develop a new generation of cleaner and more eco-friendly vehicles.
The initiative comes only weeks after JLR was bought by Indian car giant Tata Motors from Ford for £1.5 billion but the former is not directly involved with the project though it approved the new plan.
“This recruitment drive demonstrates Jaguar Land Rover’s confidence in our future. With our new owners, we have entered an exciting era with stunning new models and ambitious technologies,” newly-appointed chief executive David Smith said Wednesday.
The company has invested in sustainable technologies to meet EU emissions target and was looking for experienced, degree-educated engineers to work on a variety of “ground-breaking” projects.
Most of the jobs will be based at the group’s development centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Besides, there are a “significant number” of vacancies in its purchasing, finance and human resources departments. It is also launching a programme aimed at recruiting more than 80 graduate trainees as well as 60 apprentices under an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship scheme announced in March.
The company did concede, however, that it would have to “spread our net fairly widely” to meet its engineering numbers and did not rule out recruiting abroad, including in India.
”This is probably the biggest single recruitment drive in the history of the two companies and it demonstrates that this is a go-ahead business with a strong future,“ said a spokesman of the company based in the West Midlands.
Kiran Virk, policy adviser at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the recruitment drive was “a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector which is battling hard to fight off increasing raw material costs, a downturn in the economy and global competition.”
“This is further proof that the West Midlands can lead the field of research and development,” Virk said.
Des Thurlby, the company’s human resources director, said: “The campaign is up and running and Jaguar Land Rover will be targeting a number of different employment sectors to attract top quality candidates.
“We shall also be working through a variety of channels from press advertisements to the graduate milk round, and a new dedicated recruitment website.
“The work on offer is cutting-edge and the rewards impressive. This business has a bright future and we think it will be a very attractive place to work for the best in our industry here in the UK,” he said.
The company currently employs some 16,000 people at its car production plants at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood in Liverpool and its product development centres at Gaydon and Whitley in Coventry.