Apprentice, Design, Diversity & Inclusion

Out of all the apprentice awards I’ve seen, this is the first award I’ve felt I really identify with.


‘Before Jaguar Land Rover, I was studying A-Levels & helping run my family’s market stall. On one side I had aspirations to study at uni, but on the other I really wasn’t interested in learning theory without applying it in a business environment.’

My most challenging – but rewarding – project so far has been as a lead engineer, working on underbody across XE, XF, F-Pace & Velar 21MY. At the time I felt out of my depth, but looking back at my work and my managers’ feedback I’m quite proud of my output. Also, shoutout to Paul MacMurdie, Mark Gawne-Cain and Steve Duddy for their support over that period.

I grew up 5 minutes away from the Castle Brom plant under the sunny skies of Erdington. So I do take pride working for a company that’s integral to my hometowns local economy. But the most important thing about my work is the people around me, and making sure they can do their job.

I’m very proud to say I’ve been shortlisted in the Judges’ Choice Category of the BAME Apprentice Awards.

Out of all the apprentice awards I’ve seen, this is the first award I’ve felt I really identify with. It’s also the first I’ve ever entered. Rather than an ‘extra category’ I see the BAME AAs as a centre of excellence. A focal point for people of all backgrounds to see, there’s space for them to succeed in apprenticeships. So, to win & represent the BAME AA amongst so many great apprentices would be a huge achievement for myself.

Finally, while I’ve experienced a lot of personal success, I’ve tried to remain conscious of not forgetting the struggles of others. Especially now that I’m in a position of privilege myself. For this reason if I was to win, I’d use the award to not only amplify my own voice, but also the voices of others. Regardless of race, sexuality and neurodiversity etc. As while I look forward to seeing BAME people progress, it won’t mean as much if we forget to bring those less represented than ourselves with us.’

Apprentice, Early Careers, Engineering, People

Dispelling Degree Apprenticeship Myths.

‘The mid-way point of my six year degree apprenticeship at Jaguar Land Rover is fast approaching. The opportunity for both personal and professional development within the framework of a degree apprenticeship is unparalleled. Real-world experience combined with academic studies at the university of Warwick is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds.

So why aren’t degree apprentice schemes more popular?

Sure, the pendulum is starting to shift, but the traditional university route is still the default for many school leavers. There are many misconceptions that stop people from applying for apprenticeships and I had some myself prior to applying. With 31 months under my belt, I think I finally know what It means to be a degree apprentice at JLR.  So, allow me to dispel some of these myths and show you that an Apprenticeship can not only be a viable alternative to university, but for many people, a much better option.

But what exactly is a degree apprenticeship?


Well, think of it as full-time employment whilst studying part time at university.

But won’t that be really difficult?

You will have to balance your responsibilities at work whilst ensuring you keep up with your studies. But don’t worry, there is a whole team of people in place who are dedicated to looking after apprentices, so if you need support, it is definitely there!

Aren’t apprenticeships for people who didn’t do well at school?

This isn’t the case, many apprentices choose to complete a degree apprenticeship rather than university as it allows them to gain practical work experience and earn whilst completing their academic studies. A degree apprenticeship is equivalent to going to university and Jaguar Land Rover’s application process is thorough to ensure that you can succeed on your apprenticeship programme.

Isn’t a university degree worth more than a degree from an apprenticeship?

On the contrary. The degree you gain has been designed to meet IET accreditation requirements, and with your many years of experience at work, you will have all of the necessary requirements to become chartered.

But won’t I be able to earn more in the long run by going to university?

All it takes to dispel this myth is some quick maths. While university students incur debt of around £40k throughout their degree, apprentices are paid for the privilege. At JLR, degree level apprentices can expect to earn around £20k per year at the start of the scheme and given you perform as expected, you can receive pay rises that will take you above the average graduate starting salary by the end of your scheme, which you will leave debt-free.

But apprenticeships don’t lead anywhere!

I am sure Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at JLR, would have something to say about that. Having joined Land Rover in 1984 as a technical apprentice, his career has taken him right to the top of the industry. With an apprenticeship, the real world experience and interactions you gain from the very start, give an insight into things which cannot be taught and can leverage your career over your peers. And although not guaranteed, the overwhelming majority of apprentices stay with the business after their scheme.

Will I be asked to go to get the tartan paint?

Gone are the days when apprentices just made the tea. At JLR, apprentices provide huge value to the business and take on real responsibility. You will work along side experts in their field and draw upon their years of experience to garner in depth knowledge which you would not learn through academia. Even though you are an apprentice, you will be trusted to do the same jobs as people much more experienced than you, and you will be able to excel at it with the training and support you are provided with.

Ok you have convinced me on the academic and work side, but wont I miss out on the university life?

Balancing work and study can be difficult, and time will be at a premium. But don’t think you will have to fully compromise on the university experience. JLR invest heavily in apprentices and each year’s cohort see’s over a hundred likeminded individuals join the business, meaning there is a large network of new people to meet, work and socialise with. The early careers hub connects apprentices and graduates for social events, trips, projects and volunteering opportunities. As a degree apprentice, you will also be eligible for all the student benefits at the University of Warwick such as societies, sport, and student discounts.

I hope I have been able to address some of your concerns. A degree apprenticeship isn’t for everyone. But, if you have drive, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, then it might just be for you.’


Apprentice, Early Careers, Engineering, Home Page, Software

Are you wondering what it’s like to be an apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover?

Here is Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentice Lauren with an insight into her experiences of life at JLR:

“Before starting at JLR I naturally wondered whether I would be able to make an immediate contribution in the broad range of projects I would be working on. Looking to a software course such as the DTS stream, I questioned if it would all be coding related or if I’d be given the opportunity to diversify and develop new skills.

I had studied Python in GCSE Computing and knew this was going to feature on the course. In A-Level Product Design, I had progressively advanced my skills in CAD programs such as Fusion 360 and a project opportunity soon appeared enabling me to use these skills in designing and fabricating a jig to allow the testing of ECUs. From this, CAD has become an important part of my job.

Making a true difference in the business was something I was looking forward to before I joined. When focusing on smaller scale projects, you may feel as though your work doesn’t contribute, but it all adds up to the bigger picture and I’ve been directly involved in real world vehicle software development.

Before my apprenticeship journey, I also wondered if I’d be thrown in at the deep end as I’d just finished A-Levels at school and so still very much learning despite work experience placements in both automotive and aerospace industries. When I joined, I was supported via informal inductions and tours from older apprentices etc. It can be daunting at first, but my team was on hand to support swift learning and integration.

The transition from A-Levels to university lectures felt smoother than the move from GCSE to A-Level with the teaching level being taxing where necessary. Of course, we currently study via online lectures which I have enjoyed because we can still collaborate in smaller groups, with assessments having a more coursework-based content, but they still have sufficient challenge.

It is quite an adjustment to go from face to face learning to using Teams and I did think that the collaboration opportunities might reduce however if anything, I’ve collaborated with a lot more people on a lot more projects since working remotely. That said, I have learnt through lockdown that it is crucial to develop a good work-life balance when working from home. I have sometimes continued working beyond the usual office hours, but it is good to switch off and have a proper break to take care and be productive in your actual working hours.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

It’s a great environment to ask questions and develop myself.

Software Engineer Jack Young talks about the responsibility that Jaguar Land Rover has given in during his apprenticeship:

“Of all the apprenticeships I applied for, JLR was the first interview I attended and ended up being my top choice so I’m incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to work here.

I have always been a bit of a geek, having studied Computer Science at both GCSE and A Level. I tend to always get drawn to the techy side of things, even while working as a lifeguard I seemed to assume the role of tech support so it’s not surprising that I have ended up where I am.

I have always been keen to learn about and have the latest technology. Jaguar Land Rover really helps me fulfil that desire. We are more than just are a car company now and it shows in the work that I have been doing; it feels great to be able to push such an iconic company further towards the future.

It has been difficult to keep up with all the new technologies being used within the company and adapting my basic knowledge of programming to the automotive world, but everyone at JLR and the University of Warwick have provided a great environment to ask questions and develop myself. I have already had the opportunity to lead a feature’s development from a marketing idea all the way to designing the software; I struggle to believe many companies would let a first year apprentice do work like this. It is amazing how much responsibility I have been given having only been here for 16 months.

On the other side of things, I was invited to talk on two podcasts and even speak on a panel at the Higher & Degree Apprenticeships Conference in December 2019. Within 4 months of starting the course, I was given the opportunity to network with people from many different industries and job roles and it has been a great way to develop myself.

There has been a great balance of technical and professional development and I have really appreciated that.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

There’s always someone to talk to.

Ellen, one of our DTS Apprentices in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) tells us about one of her favourite parts of life at JLR:

“I was keen to get involved with the apprentice forum since I first started at JLR. They hosted a great tour around Gaydon for us and set us up in a ‘Buddy system’ so we had an older apprentice to talk to.

Unfortunately, at the time, this was limited to just the EVE (electrical and vehicle) department so I knew some friends of mine had missed out. This is what inspired me to get involved in the forum so that we could expand our outreach to future apprentices in all departments. I was able to get involved as both the social rep and as one of the two DTS reps.

This has been one of my favourite parts of joining the business as I have been able to meet many more people than I otherwise would have. So far this year, my friend and I have set up a cohort wide buddy system and organised a small, socially distanced meet up for the new apprentices. In the future, I hope to organise a variety of activities/sports events/nights out/learning/relaxing events for apprentices in all years.”