March 5, 2017 blog

Jaguar Land Rover is pioneering with purpose to inspire the next generation of global engineers

Australian team Wombat Warriors scooped the 'World Champion' trophy at the 2016 World Final of the The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge

Jaguar Land Rover has ambitious plans for global growth which are supported by innovation in new products, engines and environmental technologies. The company is UK's leading investor in automotive research and development, which has delivered breakthroughs in engineering, performance and sustainability.

It is critical that we encourage more young people to become the next generation of engineers and technologists to offset the skills shortage and sustain the business over the long term.

Our pioneering 'Inspiring Tomorrow's Engineers' education programme works in collaboration with schools and colleges to promote engagement in STEM subjects and inspire more young people to consider engineering careers.

The programme has grown significantly over the past five years and now engages with 300,000 young people in the UK each year.

The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge is one of the main STEM Challenge Projects. Teams of students aged 11-19 are asked to design, manufacture and test a radio-controlled, four-wheel drive model vehicles. Teams compete against other teams in regional and then national finals.

The project supports curriculum learning in Design and Technology, Manufacturing, and Engineering, which gives students an insight into real-world processes used in Jaguar Land Rover. The challenge, which has been running since 2006, has helped to identify and nurture future apprentice and graduate talent.

The company's Global CSR Programme provided funding for key education projects to be rolled out globally to engage with one million overseas students by 2020. These projects aim to develop and inspire young people in some of the 150 countries where Jaguar Land Rover operates.

One of the greatest challenges the world pilot faced was finding the right organisations to deliver it outside the UK. Jaguar Land Rover's education partner Engineering in Motion recruited leading in-country education providers following careful research. These providers launched the challenge in 15 countries including Brazil, Slovakia and Australia. Various school teams were recruited and matched with JLR graduates in the UK who provided them with ongoing support via email, phone and Skype.

The first Global Final was held in Coventry in July 2015 and the event was a resounding success. Students from across the globe participated in cultural activities and a tour of the Solihull manufacturing plant, before competing with their vehicles out on a brand new off-road track. The overseas teams won nine awards which was a great feat in their first year of competing. The students gained skills, experiences, friendships and memories during the three day programme.

Following the success of the pilot, the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge is now firmly established and is attracting new schools across the world, including Brazil and Slovakia, where the Jaguar Land Rover overseas manufacturing operations are based.

Australian team Wombat Warriors scooped the 'World Champion' trophy at the 2016 World Final, closely followed by another team from Australia in second place and a Portuguese team in third. The company is now looking at opportunities to replicate this success with other STEM challenge projects.

The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge is a true reflection of Tata's pioneering with purpose ambition and combines innovation in education with using technology for social good. STEM careers offer excellent opportunities to young people. By demonstrating this globally, especially in countries where STEM skills shortages are an issue, Jaguar Land Rover aims to guarantee a pipeline of skilled and engaged future talent long into the future.

— Written by Les Ratcliffe, MBE, Head of Community Relations, Jaguar Land Rover

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