Jaguar Land Rover has strengthened its commitment to the armed forces with the donation of two F-TYPE sports cars to Mission Motorsport. The cars will be used by the charity to support the recovery and rehabilitation of ex-service personnel affected by their time in the military.
The donation, championed by the armed forces team at the Castle Bromwich manufacturing plant, was made in the run-up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June. It continues Jaguar Land Rover’s relationship with the forces’ motorsport charity established in 2014 with the creation of its Armed Forces Engagement Programme.
A critical element of that project was the establishment of a Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) training scheme, in which more than 45 WIS personnel have taken part and 29 have gained full-time employment with Britain’s biggest carmaker. Six others had been employed by Jaguar Land Rover’s partner organizations.
Rob Lummis, Head of Employee Experiences at Jaguar Land Rover, said:
These two cars will make an immeasurable difference to the Mission Motorsport team, enabling them to reach even more veterans who don’t know what the future holds after their discharge from the military.
At Jaguar Land Rover we have seen the benefits a programme like this can have in awakening new horizons, ambitions and careers. We look forward to seeing the next set of beneficiaries begin their new future with us.
Castle Bromwich workers were joined by some of Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS recruits and Mission Motorsport ambassadors to build the cars – a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder 300PS and a range-topping 5.0-litre V8 575PS SVR. One of those spending a day on the production line was Jaco Van Biljon, who joined Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS training programme in 2017 and went on to secure employment in the firm’s powertrain division. He’s since represented Great Britain at the Warrior Games and has been selected, along with two JLR colleagues, as members of Team GB for this year’s Invictus Games taking place in Sydney this October. Jaco is also about to embark on a sponsored degree.
Van Biljon said:
I did not know that my journey from Mission Motorsport to Jaguar Land Rover would be life-changing when I made that first phone call. I left the military because of a degenerative condition and really didn’t know where to turn. Today, I’m here at Jaguar Land Rover in a job I love, with a team that supports me and a bright and exciting future. It’s been quite incredible.
Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover has recruited more than 850 ex-forces personnel and is committed to seeing this number rise as it aims to become the employer of choice ex-military. Whether choosing to leave the armed forces or having been wounded in action in, Jaguar Land Rover has a programme in place to support those transitioning from forces life to civilian career whilst meeting its own need to advance the skills and capability of the automotive industry. From leadership and team working skills to the ability to cope under pressure, the armed forces community has many of the core skills needed to help Jaguar Land Rover succeed in the future.
James Cameron, CEO at Mission Motorsport, said:
This has been an incredible gesture by Jaguar Land Rover and an extraordinary commitment to reinforce our hard work in support of those leaving the armed services. It is our responsibility now to harness the excitement that these cars create to help inspire those who have so much to offer. We are very grateful indeed for this transformational gift.
The launch of new retailer technician training programme earlier this year is just one new way the company aims to upskill ex-military personnel for employment in Jaguar and Land Rover retailers across the UK. So far this year 12 technicians have been employed.
Note: Press release courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.