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Jaguar Land Rover to aid young jobless

As the UK economy shows the first sustained signs of recovery, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced a scheme to allow young people to share in its success and gain valuable experience in the world of work. The new work experience scheme will target young people between the ages of 16 and 23 who are not currently in employment, education or training.

As the UK economy shows the first sustained signs of recovery, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced a scheme to allow young people to share in its success and gain valuable experience in the world of work. The new work experience scheme will target young people between the ages of 16 and 23 who are not currently in employment, education or training. Young people have been among the hardest hit during the current economic crisis and although employment in this group is rising, it lags stubbornly behind the population as a whole. The new programme will help such people develop the skills necessary to allow them to enter into a sustainable career in the automotive industry.

JLR has developed the new programme in conjunction with Birmingham Metropolitan College and it is currently being trialled at the car maker's plant in Castle Bromwich. The programme participants will make full use of JLR's new Education Business Partnership Centre and it is expected that around 150 people will attend the course over the coming nine months.

Commenting on the scheme, JLR Executive Director, Mike Wright, said: "Youth unemployment is at a record level yet there is a skills shortage in the UK. It makes sense therefore for a responsible business like Jaguar Land Rover to use its success for good and develop a programme that will engage and inspire those who may feel they have no employment prospects for the future. This programme forms part of our Business in the Community 'Responsible Business of the Year' legacy and I am confident with the support of our delivery partners we can make a tangible difference to the lives of all participants."

Students on the course will find themselves engaged in a wide range of practical and academic activities. These will include outdoor team-building events, community projects and maths and English lessons. The course will also lead towards a manufacturing qualification. One early attendee is Jake Bickerstaff from nearby Solihull. The 17-year-old has four GCSEs but has been unable to find work. He says: "I've struggled to find a job because of a lack of experience and qualifications. I started applying for every job I found but was not getting anywhere. I've signed up for Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce because I think the experience will make me stand out in the future and will give my CV an edge. It's a great way to get into engineering and finding out more about Jaguar Land Rover."

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