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Jaguar Land Rover to retrain over 60% of its technicians to support rapid EV transition

Jaguar Land Rover revealed its new program Wednesday called the “future skills programme,” aimed at retraining 29,000 of its workforce to acquire the skills to develop, manufacture, and service modern luxury electric vehicles. The British luxury automaker has significant plans to introduce all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in EV form by 2030, making it critical that its employees are on board for the transition.

In February 2021, Jaguar Land Rover announced a major initiative called “Reimagine,” revealing the automaker’s next chapter in its rich history.

The Reimagine strategy involves converting Jaguar to an all-electric brand by 2025, while Land Rover follows with a mostly electric lineup by the end of the decade. Jaguar introduced its first fully electric vehicle, the I-PACE, in 2018, a beautifully designed SUV that drives more like a car, featuring decent range and charging capacity.

The I-PACE won several awards in 2019, including World Car of the Year, World Green Award, and World Car Design of the Year.

On the other hand, Land Rover plans to release six pure EVs by the end of the decade, with the first fully electric Range Rover coming in 2024.

The luxury automaker has taken several steps this year to ease the transition to EVs as it phases out gas-powered vehicles. In August, Jaguar Land Rover unveiled plans for a “next-generation” EV testing facility featuring an electronic rolling road to test vehicle performance at speed.

More recently, on September 21, a report from Autocar UK revealed Jaguar Land Rover began converting its Halewood facility to speed up its EV transition. The plant is home to iconic models like the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, both due for an electric upgrade, though it’s not clear if they will continue being manufactured here.

To ease the transition to EVs, Jaguar Land Rover is introducing a global “upskilling drive” to retrain 29,000 of its employees.

Jaguar I-Pace Source: JLR

Jaguar Land Rover retraining workers for an all-out EV transition

Jaguar Land Rover unveiled its “future skills programme” Wednesday to prepare its technicians and dealers for a rapid transition to EVs.

The automaker says over 60% of JLR and its global franchised retailer technicians, about 29,000 total, will receive training to design, manufacture, and service electric vehicles over the next few years.

The majority will be retrained this year to support the automaker EV push over the coming years. Over 9,500 apprentices are in training as JLR plans to hire another 1,200 in 2023.

Jaguar Land Rover’s industrial operations executive director, Barbara Bergmeier, talks about the automaker’s EV ambitions and how the new program can help, stating:

Our plans to electrify our product portfolio are running at pace, and we are rapidly scaling up our future skills training programme to ensure we have the right talent to deliver the world’s most desirable modern luxury electric vehicles.

Before adding:

Developing the skilled global workforces needed to design, build and maintain the vehicles of the future is foundational. I’m proud to say we are committing to help plug the electric and digital skills gap with a comprehensive, global training programme, which will power charge electrification both here in the UK and abroad.

On top of its technicians, Jaguar Land Rover plans to train thousands of engineers, production employees, and others currently working on gas-powered vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover strives to achieve net carbon zero across its supply chain and operations by 2039, with an extensive roadmap for getting there. The automaker claims electrification is the focal point of its climate initiatives.

Electrek’s Take

With effective plans over the next several years to introduce new fully electric models and become a leader in the industry, Jaguar Land Rover is approaching it strategically.

Retraining employees is the first step. Then, when the time comes, the transition to electric vehicles will be much smoother.

Electric vehicles are much more sophisticated than their gas-powered counterparts, making it crucial for automakers to train their employees on the differences.

JLR is not the only automaker doing so. Luxury rival Mercedes-Benz also launched an employee EV training program in August to support its own transition, though the initiative is more aimed at the selling experience than the manufacturing process.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising