Jaguar Land Rover aims to combat skills shortage with ex-military hires image

The fast growing UK auto industry is faced with a huge shortage of skilled workers. Part of the strategy is to bridge the gap by also tapping into ex-military personnel, made redundant by Britain’s reduction of armed forces.

Jaguar, Britain’s premium automaker owned by India’s Tata Motors, has devised a program specifically tailored to ex-military, as it aims to tap skilled and experienced workers to address manufacturing shortages. The move is mirrored by competing carmakers like Ford or Bentley, as the companies devise new trainee programs to cater for the growing needs of the huge local auto industry.

“I was very lucky,” says Julie Taylor, a retired Royal Logistic Corps manager that works for Jaguar today. “A lot of military will come out with no qualifications whatsoever but still have loads of skills. They might not be recognized by companies because they don’t have the right ticks in the right boxes.”

According to a study from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG, the booming UK auto industry is threatened by a skill shortage not seen since 1997. On the other hand, the country also cuts on its troop numbers, increasing the number of so-called early service leavers – personnel that leaves the Army after about three years.

Via Automotive News Europe