Jaguar Land Rover and the animated band Gorillaz (created in 1997 by rock group Blur frontman Damon Albarn and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett), have joined together to find the next generation of world-class electronics and software engineering talent. They have designed a code-breaking challenge found in the virtual band’s app.
The best performers will be fast-tracked through the recruitment process, helping to meet Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to employ thousands of bright new talents over the next year. It’s a major change in the way the business looks for candidates, aiming to tackle the engineering skills gap and inspire and attract a diverse range of talent and new thinking.
The Gorillaz App launches a new Jaguar Land Rover recruitment area in the form of a 360-environment in the garage of the band’s home, which also features all the iconic vehicles from Gorillaz past. Here, applicants can explore and take a two-part challenge. The first part, designed to educate users about the benefits of electric vehicles, involves assembling the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, Jaguar's first all-electric five-seater sports car. Users can learn about the vehicle’s performance, battery technology, space, charging and range.
The second and more demanding part of the game, developed to engage and recruit budding electronic wizards and coders, will focus on cracking code in Alternate Reality Game format (ARG). The challenge takes them on a series of code breaking puzzles, that will test their curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem solving skills - all real world attributes of a new generation of software and engineering talent.
Alex Heslop, Head of Electrical Engineering, at Gaydon-based Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As the automotive industry transforms over the next decade, fuelled by software innovation, we have to attract the best talent and that requires a radical rethink of how we recruit. Here we’ve found an engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance. It will be the first of its kind.”
The Jaguar I-TYPE, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's all-electric Formula E racecar, appears in the garage. Users can click on a poster of Noodle with the I-TYPE and ‘FanBoost’ which enables them to vote for the @JaguarRacing team drivers to gain a power boost during their next race or to follow @JaguarRacing twitter channels.
The project follows on from Jaguar Land Rover’s STEM initiative with Gorillaz in 2016, where founder member and female guitarist, Noodle, became Jaguar’s Formula E Racing Ambassador. As the UK’s leading investor in research and development, Jaguar Land Rover is putting Noodle at the forefront of its campaign to address the skills gap that manufacturing worldwide is facing.
The company has used its debut season in Formula E to promote Jaguar Land Rover’s thought-leadership position as a business that is shaping the future to solve the technology innovation and skills gap challenges.
Interested applicants can download the Gorillaz App
at the iTunes App Store ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gorillaz/id1217997478?mt=8
) or Google Play ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Parlophone.Gorillaz&hl=en
To find out more about Jaguar Land Rover recruitment, click here www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com . For specific roles in Electrification see: www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com/jlr-roles/product-creation/electrification/
Traditional application methods remain open and CVs will be accepted, but Jaguar Land Rover invites potential applicants to download the app and break the codes and solve the problems to fast-track their way into employment.
· Automotive manufacturers’ investment and job creation plans on course although EU exit still seen as biggest threat to sector
· Manufacturers to increase investment in R&D in low carbon or electric vehicle technology
· Automotive firms determined to pursue new international opportunities
The UK automotive industry remains resilient despite ongoing uncertainty presented by the global economy and the UK’s future relationship with the EU, according to new research released by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Lloyds Bank’s third annual survey of the UK automotive manufacturing sector and its supply chain analyses the state of the industry today and the opportunities and challenges it faces in the future.
Investment and growth
The research revealed average investment over the next two years is due to hold firm at 19% of turnover while manufacturers are forecasting a 15% growth in turnover over the next two years, up slightly from 14% in the previous report.
Almost four in ten businesses expect growth to come from new product development. While some plan to support growth by investing in infrastructure and pursuing mergers and acquisitions, this fell back significantly on last year, from 43% and 3%, respectively.
EU exit remains biggest threat to UK automotive firms
Almost a third of automotive manufacturers consider the exit from the EU as the biggest threat to supply security over the next two years, while a similar number said that leaving the EU was one of the biggest challenges facing the industry in the next two years.
The weakness of sterling is also a challenge for manufacturers with more than a quarter seeing it as a potential issue. However, more than a third of businesses expect to benefit from a more competitive export environment.
Automotive firms appear determined to pursue new international opportunities as, over three quarters of firms are investing or planning to engage with new international customers in the next two years.
The number of firms planning to engage new customers in Western Europe rose slightly to 65%, from 61% last year. The number of firms targeting North America grew more strongly, from 46% to 53%
The vast majority of automotive manufacturers plan to create new jobs over the next two years. If their plans are replicated across the UK’s automotive manufacturing firms, it would create almost 85,000 new jobs – a figure that remains unchanged year-on-year.
These job creation plans are underpinned by manufacturers’ reshoring activity. The last time the research was carried out 58% of firms said they planned to bring some manufacturing back to the UK within two years, and this grew to 64% this time.
Investment in R&D looks to future-proof sector
Technological innovation will continue to shape the sector over the coming years. Much of this innovation is to help cut vehicle emissions, addressing the fact that 62% of firms thought the 2015 emissions issue had a negative impact on consumer confidence.
UK manufacturers’ commitment to innovation has increased, with firms planning to invest an average of 24% of current turnover into R&D over the next two years, up from 17%.
Firms say this is due to manufacturers’ reinforcing their plans to upskill their staff or change their processes to develop low carbon or electric vehicle technology. This is being pursued by 64% of firms, up from 52% last year.
In particular, 57% of respondents said they had already made moves to develop driverless technology despite the field increasingly being occupied by new competitors such as Google, Apple and Uber.Download the report HERE
The growth of Aston Martin could have a positive knock-on effect for companies in the supply chain in Coventry and Warwickshire, local businesses have been told.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held a manufacturing sector networking event at the company’s headquarters in Gaydon and heard from purchasing director Richard Jesson.
He told the gathering of around 40 businesses that the company was investing £500 million and that it was planning to release a new model every nine months through to 2020.
“This could mean big opportunities for you,” said Richard. “We are investing heavily and we will need to find new supply partners.
“Currently, 34% of our suppliers are in the UK and 40% of those are in the Midlands and we’re always looking for the most competitive, receptive and innovative suppliers to work with.
“If those suppliers are local, it can make life easier logistically for us but there are several measures in place and, really, what we want to do is work in partnership with companies.
“We want them to come back to us with suggestions and innovation around products and parts – it is all about forging the right relationships.
“We want to invest in the local community and support the local economy so I would encourage potential suppliers to find out about opportunities available to them.”
Zoe Sweeney, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, hosted the event and said many companies had already heeded Richard’s words.
She said: “We have relaunched our sector networks on the back of feedback from businesses – they wanted events tailored specifically to their sector and to be able to meet and speak to like-minded business people.
“Aston Martin was the perfect venue to stage our first event and it really was a great success.
“It was extremely positive to hear Richard saying that they are open to hear from local suppliers and I know several business cards were exchanged during the event as many companies were looking to strike while the iron was hot.
“Plans are already in place for our next event and I am sure it is going to be very popular after this great way to get started."