Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s biggest automaker, will hire 5,000 staff as it boosts its skills in autonomous and electric technology, a welcome business endorsement as Prime Minister Theresa May starts Brexit talks after an election with unexpected results.
Jaguar Land Rover, which employs more than 40,000 people globally, said it would hire 1,000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4,000 additional personnel including in manufacturing, most of whom will be based in Britain.
The recruitment process will take place over the next 12 months, during Britain’s talks to leave the European Union, which car makers have warned must result in a deal that retains free and unfettered trade to protect jobs. The renewed political uncertainty has caused business confidence to tumble in recent days, according to surveys and business groups.
Hours before the talks were due to begin in Brussels, the heads of the UK’s biggest business lobbies called on the government to engage “continuously” with UK business interests and strike a deal that preserves the benefits of EU membership — including tariff-free trade, guarantees for EU citizens living in the UK and minimal customs formalities.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, will build its first electric vehicle, the I-PACE, in Austria but has said it wants to build such models in Britain if conditions such as support from government and academia are met.
Car makers are racing to produce greener cars and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and fulfill air quality targets but Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity, and area ministers have said they want to build up.
Jaguar Land Rover, which builds just under a third of Britain’s 1.7-million cars, has said half of all its new models will be available in an electric version by the end of the decade, requiring new skills among its staff.
Note: Press release originally via Reuters and Business Day.