Jaguar Land Rover is launching a new digital skills apprenticeship programme following its competition for software engineers that tasked them with writing the code necessary to guide a model Range Rover Evoque around a circuit.
The vehicle manufacturer has identified a need for more software coders to deliver the autonomous and connected vehicles of the future, and runs the Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge annually to test their abilities.
The talented teenagers competing in this year’s Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge world finals were able to write 200 lines of code in just 30 minutes, to successfully navigate the scale model Range Rover Evoque around the 5.7-metre circuit.
David Lakin, head of education from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “Digital skills are vital to the economy, which is why the IET is proud to support initiatives like the Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge to ensure we inspire, inform and develop future engineers and encourage diversity across STEM subjects from a young age. If we are to safeguard jobs for the next generation, we must equip the workforce of the future with the skills they will need to engineer a better world.”
This year, Jaguar Land Rover is new digital skills apprenticeship programme to attract the brightest computer engineers to help code its next-generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicles and support the factories of the future.
Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, explained: “The UK will need 1.2 million more people with specialist digital skills by 2022, and as a technology company, it’s our job to help inspire and develop the next generation of technically curious and pioneering digital engineers. The Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge is just one of the ways we are doing this, as well as our new Digital Skills Apprenticeship programme we are launching this year.”
The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools programme has helped the vehicle manufacturer reach more than four million young people since 2000. This year, 110 students from 14 countries qualified for the world finals held at the University of Warwick, with NewGen Motors team from Greece lifting the trophy following two intensive days of competition.
Mark Wemyss-Holden, former teacher and curriculum content developer, said: “Coding is high on the agenda across industry and teachers do a fantastic job delivering the curriculum, but schools have competing priorities and are hamstrung by limited budgets and time. The private sector, and programmes like Land Rover 4×4 In Schools, have a real opportunity to bridge the gap between what learners enjoy studying and how that translates into a future career.”