The manufacturing sector has become a powerhouse of British industry in the past year, with many firms choosing to rapidly expand thanks to a booming exports market. However, there are concerns that a shortage of skilled workers such as engineers may limit the growth potential in the country in future, making now the optimum time for manufacturing firms to channel investment into expansion and hiring.
This certainly seems to be the aim of Tata Motor owned Jaguar Land Rover, which announced plans to expand its Solihull plant at the Frankfurt motor show this week. The luxury car manufacturer intends to revolutionise its chassis production to incorporate lightweight aluminium designs, creating up to 1,700 jobs in the West Midlands.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive, Dr Ralph Speth, made the firm’s commitment to the advancement of the UK’s car industry clear during the announcement.
He said; “Today’s announcement signals Jaguar Land Rover’s ambitions to push the boundaries and redefine premium car ownership.
“Jaguar Land Rover is a business driven by design, technology and innovation and this investment and level of job creation is yet further evidence of our commitment to advancing the capability of the UK automotive sector and its supply chain.”
The job creation comes as part of a £1.5 billion investment into the firm’s UK operations, and will bring the total number of jobs created to almost 11,000 in the past three years alone. For a country which still struggles to stabilise a fluctuating unemployment rate, this news will undoubtedly be welcomed in the local area.
Yet it is not only skilled workers who will benefit from the expansion, as small businesses who supply parts and materials to Jaguar Land Rover can expect a boost in orders. Dr Speth made it clear that all suppliers will be consulted and become involved in the expansion as Jaguar Land Rover attempts to maximise output from its UK factories.
Do you think that rapid expansion plans for major motoring companies are geared towards taking advantage of a favourable exports market, or are they concerned that a shortage of skilled workers will limit their growth capability in future?