Unveiled at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and delivered by Mission Motorsport, the Forces’ Motorsport Charity, the Mission Automotive initiative helps service leavers and veterans into UK Automotive industry jobs. Covering the entire sector, from components, infrastructure and software through to manufacturing and logistics, the project will supply a broad range of highly-relevant skills to the job market. As the move to electrification and related technology gains pace, the initiative will also provide a welcome boost through the dissemination of high-voltage competencies that are commonplace in all three Services.
Mission Automotive distils the charity’s seven years’ experience in placing veterans into employment across the UK Automotive industry. Since the first Invictus Games in 2014, Mission Motorsport partners have helped 1700 veterans into work of whom over 150 were ex-servicemen and women categorized as wounded, injured or sick. By encouraging companies to develop their own mechanisms to access military talent through promoting positive business behaviours and reinforcing an Armed Forces friendly culture, veterans and spouses are able to thrive, realise their potential and promote positive change in others.
Taking the initiative at today’s launch were founding members of Mission Automotive, Jaguar Land Rover, DHL, Westway Nissan, Alcon and Bicester Motion. Key to the early appeal of the scheme is its ability to deliver the skills required to tackle the challenge of the automotive industry’s electrification. Covering not just vehicle design and manufacture, but also maintenance, repair and disposal as well as the implementation of the UK’s charging infrastructure, ex-forces personnel already possess a treasure trove of highly relevant skills in high-voltage technologies and systems.
By mapping military career groups to the qualifications required by the sector, Mission Automotive lets UK industry tap into a pool of unrealised talent, and deliver sustainable and relevant employment opportunities for service leavers, veterans and their partners. Backed by the MoD, industry groups led by SMMT, and with the full support of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it links HR best practices with a focus on the wider issue of corporate responsibility.
It can be difficult for Service Leavers to translate how their military experience allows them to fit into civilian career. Mission Automotive helps organisations to recognize, foster and retain that talent through developing and implementing their own Armed Forces engagement strategies. By promoting these positive business behaviours, the Mission Automotive initiative gives member companies the tools to unlock not only human potential, but also brand and corporate opportunities through embracing the Armed Forces Covenant.
From electrification to digitisation, autonomous driving to cyber security, the automotive industry is changing rapidly and we need talent to address some critical skills gaps. Ex-military personnel can provide some of these in-demand skills and the industry can provide them with a new career path. SMMT has supported Mission Motorsport for a number of years with ex-service people, including many with disabilities, joining the sector and rapidly becoming an asset to their respective companies. Mission Automotive expands these opportunities and will let us attack the future challenges with highly trained and targeted talent.