Land Rover is going as green as its oval and its new technical academy and industry-leading apprenticeship program has found a new home with rainwater harvesting tanks, wax walls and 275 tons of saved CO2 a year.
Clearly, Jaguar Land Rover trusts that its recent lay-off of 450 workers is only temporary. Times may not be good for the auto industry in general, but that doesn’t mean they’re not promising. This is why JLR and recently opened its Technical Academy for dealer technicians and apprentices… and it is as forward-thinking as next year’s concept car.
Dr. Adrian Birch, Manager of The Academy said: "I believe our Academy is the best equipped automotive training facility of its type. Jaguar Land Rover provides an industry leading Dealer Apprenticeship program which continues to grow year on year. Both brands have excellent reputations in the development of young people and this is a further step in demonstrating our long term commitment to supporting and promoting engineering as a modern and exciting industry."
The Academy, in Warwick, UK, coordinates and conducts all product and systems training for principal service technicians employed in the Jaguar Cars and Land Rover UK and international dealer networks. In addition, it operates one of the largest and most successful apprentice programs in the UK automotive retail sector. Over the past decade, over 1,000 young people have participated in its advanced apprenticeship program and in May 2008, The Academy became one of the first training providers in the UK to be awarded Training Quality Standard certification by the Learning & Skills Council.
The new Academy occupies over 4,000 sq meters of floor area including a state-of-the-art 60 meter workshop and training zone equipped with the latest vehicles, components and systems for hands-on training. And they mean hands-on; four of the facility’s 16 classrooms are built to accommodate actual vehicles for in-depth training activity.
Besides being a model for the company's other dealer training centers around the world - and providing technicians the world over with a consistent training base – the center is also showcasing how to develop manufacturing and construction in an environmentally progressive manner.
With help from the chemicals company BASF, JLR completely refurbished the building to incorporate a host of energy efficient solutions, some of which are pretty cool. Literally. For instance, instead of using conventional air conditioning in the classroom areas, the design team chose innovative new plasterboard which incorporates a BASF phase change material consisting of microscopically small polymer spheres containing a wax storage medium. When the temperature rises, the phase change material inside the polymer capsules absorbs heat and melts. When the temperature falls, the liquid solidifies and emits heat. This ensures a more uniform room temperature without the carbon emissions and costs associated with conventional air conditioning.
Other sustainable solutions implemented by Jaguar Land Rover in this renovation include Rainwater Harvesting Tanks, Solar/Thermal Heating, Solar Water Heating, High Efficiency Lighting and Spray Foam Insulation… improvements that add up to an estimated savings of over 275 tons of CO2 per year.
Sandwiched in the photo between Mike Wright, Director of Customer Services and Dr. Adrian Burch, Manager of the Academy, UK TV personality Kate Humble officially opened the Academy, saying "Jaguar Land Rover is committed to improving its carbon footprint whilst providing its apprentices and dealers with a first class facility. It was a delight to meet with some of the young apprentices and dealer technical staff today and see the enthusiasm they showed towards their new academy."
Forward JLR. Ever forward.
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