Jaguar Land Rover becomes the first manufacturer to sign up to BE Connected

Posted on 13 Dec 2011

The automobile manufacturer has taken up the first ever membership offer at BE Connected, which was set up to help businesses work more effectively with education.

Created by business education partnership BXL, the initiative promises to offer companies bespoke packages of support that will help them link more effectively to schools and young people.

JLR has become the first manufacturer to pledge its support for BE Connected just days after it was launched.

There are six different membership levels, from ‘Registered’ through to ‘Platinum’, all carefully designed to provide a structured way of fulfilling social engagement policies, secure greater returns on investment, raise profile within the community and offer employees new training opportunities.

JLR has signed up to a platinum membership, adding to its portfolio of commitments within the community, particularly within schools and education.

Les Ratcliffe, head of community relations at JLR, said: “Quality, work-related education experience has never been so important, raising the awareness of engineering and manufacturing as real career opportunities is key to our investment in the community.”

With two of JLR’s five Education Business Partnership Centres located at its main assembly plants in Birmingham and Solihull, the car manufacturer provides over 7,000 visits for young people per year.

The move signals JLR’s further investment in the area following the creation of 2,000 jobs during 2011 and September’s announcement of a new plant in Wolverhampton at a cost of £355m.

John Ling, chief executive officer of BXL, said: “To officially welcome Jaguar Land Rover as one of the first members of BE Connected is excellent news.”

“It underlines the company’s continued commitment to working with young people to give them real life opportunities and to gain skills that will help them further in life,” added Mr Ling.

Businesses, schools and young people working together is not a new idea, but it has often been said that a lot more can be done to make it more effective and structured for both parties.

BE Connected aims to offer organisations anything from volunteering opportunities and help with corporate social responsibility (CSR) planning to hosting a Skills for Success Week or creating a new Partnership Centre to provide on-site work experience.

“The programme is different in the sense it taps into existing relationships to provide companies with a structured engagement plan to get the most out of working with schools and young people/students,” added Mr Ling.

“Members enjoy one point of contact and can rest safe in the knowledge they have the best possible route to supporting skills development in their chosen industry, developing their workforce of the future and giving existing staff new personal development opportunities that will benefit the bottom line.”