Year 13 student Lauren Leer has been offered her dream apprenticeship at Jaguar Land Rover, two years after setting her sights on the opportunity. As well as studying for an Engineering degree and a higher level NVQ she will work at the company’s sites learning about the design and manufacture process. The six-year apprenticeship could lead to a lifetime’s career with the prestigious car marque.
She said: ‘I saw details of the apprenticeship when I was at an Engineering Fair in Year 11 and, since then, it has been my goal to work there. They will pay for my tuition fees and a salary as well. I will be based at Warwick University where I will do my applied engineering degree and in the holidays I will work onsite in the West Midlands. I will also work towards an NVQ level 4 in Engineering as well and will be studying at the same time as getting hands-on experience.
‘I had an online test before being selected for assessment. Then we had an interview then a fact-finding exercise in which we were given documents that we had to look through and pinpoint a problem with a door design. Then we did a team-building exercise followed by a practical activity. It was all about innovation and intuition. There were about 20 assessors throughout the day and they contacted me the day after to let me know I had got a place.’
Lauren starts her apprenticeship in early September and she has already been in contact with her fellow apprentices via Facebook. She said: ‘We have the chance to go to places like Germany and Iceland. In Iceland they are testing the new Range Rovers on the glaciers and a few of the apprentices I was speaking to on the assessment day had the chance to drive new cars around test tracks. It is a really exciting opportunity. This apprenticeship is the one that I wanted the most. I have loved cars for so long and did an extended project on them which they were intrigued about on the assessment day. My project was to design the next luxury sports car based on the best of British design so the Jaguar brand was obviously a key component in the process.’
Lauren studies maths, physics and literature at A Level and she has also taken part in the Engineering Education scheme where she had to come up with a solution to a civil engineering problem: ‘That came in handy because all engineering comes down to problem solving and overcoming issues. Engineering has always been something that I have been interested in, it is expanding and engineers will always be needed. This is setting me up for a career for life if I meet the deadlines and standards. If I manage to do that I will have a job at the end of it. The assessors I met each had over 25 years working with Jaguar Land Rover and said it was the best thing they have done because the role is constantly changing with innovations in materials and technology.’