Whenever embarking on a new journey there is always excitement, there is always hope and there is always a little apprehension. Starting a new job is no different and that is exactly how I felt as I drove into car park B at the Ricoh Arena for my first day at Jaguar Land Rover.
Come the end of the week, the excitement was multiplied and the apprehension was quashed. As I drove back to Manchester after my first week in the Midlands, I thought about how lucky and proud I was to join this company, to meet all of my colleagues and to make all of the new friends I had.
The first three days of the induction week were held at the Ricoh Arena. We were told of the 35,000 applicants for the 500 odd apprentice and graduate roles and it reinforced the privilege of the position we were in. During the 3 days we would be addressed by key members of the business to teach us what it meant to be part of JLR. From inspiring talks from Dr Gillian Mara to charismatic presentations from lead designers, each session was insightful and engaging. We had the rare opportunity to question programme leader, Russ Varney, on the brand new I-PACE as well as learning more about the Motorsport side of the business, looking at Formula E and the I-PACE eTROPHY.
Beyond the presentations, we also had the opportunity to learn more about the business itself and the specific schemes in place, from learning how the company implements continuous improvement, to putting together a timeline of the rich history of Jaguar and Land Rover. The induction was extremely well run and thanks goes to all of the organisers, everyone who gave presentations and the apprentice team. It was a start that I’m sure we will never forget.
Beyond the general induction for all apprentices and graduates, we spent 2 days on site at Gaydon in our departments. I am in the body engineering department and it seems like it was the best choice for me. Including me there were 28 people welcomed into the department with engaging and educational activities which gave us many key messages. From ice breakers which showed us that by working as a team we could improve performance by over 50%, to presentations which showed us that customers are the main driver of change, it was a great 2 days of meeting everyone we will be working with for the next 6 years. It was clear each activity was extremely well planned which was evident during my favourite activity of the 2 days – static vehicle benchmarking. Waiting for us in the car park were 8 different vehicles which we could play with: what could be better? By comparing our products with our competitors, we gained an appreciation for the market and the interesting obstacles we will be working to overcome as part of JLR. Thanks goes to Ajmeer, Rumon, Jack and everyone from the body engineering department for their hospitality and work they put in to welcome us to the team.
It’s safe to say that the first week at JLR exceeded all expectations. The key message from the event was to “make it yours”, and as we start on this journey, this week empowered me to try my best to make it mine.
Consider an apprenticeship and #ThinkBeyond
We want to transform the automotive landscape and shape the future of mobility – so our early careers training programmes are the route to an inspired career. Each is designed to give you the ideal mix of on-the-job training and focused, classroom-based learning.