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Students gain key industry knowledge during visit to Jaguar Land Rover

A group of engineering students outside JLR car plant in Birmingham

Students from Birmingham City University (BCU), Coventry University and the University of Wolverhampton visited one of the UK’s most important engineering companies this week as part of a collaboration aimed at supporting regional economic growth and improving student experience.

The universities are working together as West Midlands Combined Universities, which is focused on encouraging businesses, staff and students to come together and tackle local issues impacting the regional economy.

The WMCU is currently tackling skills gaps in key sectors including engineering, built environment and manufacturing.

Following online events over the last 12 months, an event held at Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Castle Bromwich plant this week marked the first in-person initiative delivered through the collaboration, allowing engineering students across the three universities to gain knowledge of the industry from a key regional manufacturer.

Wayne Langford, Director of WMCU, said: “West Midlands Combined Universities works collectively to support regional economic growth and student experiences. Strong, effective relationships with leading industrial companies in the region are a core area of activity for the WMCU.

“We are therefore absolutely delighted to see year on year growth and the strengthening of activity between our three Universities and JLR.

“Working together we will continue to offer innovative and exciting experiences to support JLR to find their workforce of the future.”

Sam Parkin, University Engagement Lead and facilitator of the event said “I am delighted we were able to create an in-person experience as part of our relationship with the WMCU. The event involved a keynote talk about JLR and our electric future from Curtis Hilton, Director of Castle Bromwich Plant Operations, the chance to get hands on with a Lego-based activity and plenty of opportunity for networking with the early careers team, current graduates on programme and more. It was great to welcome over 70 students and careers staff from the three universities and we’ve been delighted with the feedback so far. Partnerships like the WMCU allow us to inspire students on their future career options and we very much hope to see many of those students gaining a place on one of our programmes in the near future”.

Leading up to the visit, WMCU ran a series of digital sessions designed to encourage and support our students to apply for placements and graduate roles at JLR, channelling students and graduates into skilled employment within the region.

Joanna Birch, Director of Innovation, Enterprise & Employability at BCU, said: “Our involvement in the WMCU collaboration is focused on encouraging the cross-pollination of innovations and ideas, ensuring local industries remain future-ready.

“Our students benefit greatly from our collaboration, and we will continue to support the delivery of events and opportunities resulting from this alliance.”

Gareth Lewis, Associate Director of Business Development at Coventry University, said: “Our work within WMCU helps to open up new and exciting opportunities for our students and this visit to JLR, one of the region’s largest engineering companies, is a fantastic example of this. We are proud to see our graduates enter the workforce in the vital UK engineering sector and it’s great that JLR are supporting graduate recruitment within our region.”

Dr Aman Dhir, Head of Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton which offers degrees in Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Motorsport in the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, said: “The University of Wolverhampton is committed to producing graduates who can apply both theory and practice in the industry, offering them hands-on experience to equip them with real-world skills to boost their employability which is why events like this are so important.

“This visit was a marvellous opportunity for our Engineering students, and it was wonderful to see it so well attended by the universities.  The West Midlands Combined Universities collaboration is a great vehicle to showcase the contribution higher education makes to the West Midlands and wider region but also focuses on some of our amazing industry connections, like the one with JLR, which offer a wealth of potential graduate opportunities.”

The work ties into the strategic direction of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Local Authorities, National Government, Funding Bodies and key traditional and emerging industrial sectors.

Currently, there are a number of students and graduates working at JLR from Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton and Coventry University, demonstrating the positive impact that companies such as JLR are having on graduates and students in the region.

For more information about Engineering degree courses at the University of Wolverhampton check out our website or visit one of our forthcoming Open Days.



For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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