JLR invests £5m in manufacturing shopfloor revamp for workers

The new inclusive range of luxury workwear has been rolled out for production colleagues in manufacturing
-Credit: (Image: JLR)

JLR has revealed a £5million investment a revamp for the manufacturing shopfloor to benefit workers. The luxury car manufacturer has launched a rollout of radios at its manufacturing facilities.

Following two years of extensive research, testing and development, the radios were switched on at its Solihull plant in Birmingham last week. Working in any manufacturing environment can be challenging due to shift work, repetitive tasks, noise and strict health and safety regulations.

Research into music increasing productivity and morale first started in the 1930s, and to date, much research since has shown a relationship between music and better mental health and efficiency in the workplace. But the real driver for JLR was the voice of the workforce, who overwhelmingly expressed that music would help their mental well-being and drive a happier working environment and culture.

READ MORE: Boots stores that are set to close in 2024 - full list

READ MORE: Coventry man banned from every Boots and M&S store in England and Wales

This was also reflected in JLR’s wellbeing survey last year which provided valuable insights that have helped to improve the psychological and emotional health of its people.

Matt Walker - part of JLR’s Manufacturing Transformation Team - said: “The concept of the JLR radio project started two years ago when we began a test and research phase. We ran a number of trials and tests to ensure that health and safety, quality and productivity remained a top priority.

"Over 90% of employees told us (as part of the trials) that morale was up, work was much more enjoyable, and they’d seen an improvement in their wellbeing. In fact, there was also some evidence to show that quality and productivity had also increased during the trials.

"So, the radios were officially tuned in at the company’s Solihull site a few weeks ago and after the successful launch, JLR will see radios next switched on at the company’s Halewood plant in Liverpool with several other sites soon to follow."

Overall, over 10,000 employees will soon be able to listen to radio at JLR whilst building the company’s luxury cars. In addition, a new inclusive range of luxury workwear has been rolled out for production colleagues in manufacturing.

The stylish new workwear comes in 300 options - including a hijab option, maternity wear as well as temperature-regulating clothing. The rollout of new luxury workwear for JLR colleagues has been a key initiative to transform the culture and create a more modern and inclusive workplace experience, the company said.

To ensure the workwear is truly inclusive, it was co-designed with colleagues from across JLR to ensure that the people wearing the workwear had input into the design and feel. Before the launch, colleagues had an opportunity to trial and choose from the best and most comfortable designs.

Kim Panton, Manager of Apparel Design at JLR was one of the colleagues behind the design of the workwear, she said: “Inspiration for the design of the workwear came from a hunger from our colleagues to have workwear that mirrored the modern luxury cars that they build. We spoke to hundreds of colleagues from different faiths, backgrounds and of all abilities to ensure that the workwear options were designed with the diverse nature of our people in mind.”

JLR has worked hard to ensure that luxury and sustainability go hand-in-hand, carefully selecting materials that not only prioritise the comfort and authenticity of their employees but also reusability. The workwear features combine cotton with between 40% - 96% recycled polyester depending on the garment, alongside softshell padding made from recycled material.

By repurposing the existing uniforms and removing names from the new garments, they promote reusability and extend the lifespan of each piece, fostering sustainability throughout the garment lifecycle. The company has also been working closely with charitable organisations such as SATCOL (The Salvation Army Trading and Commerce Limited) which is the trading arm of The Salvation Army and has been supporting them to raise money for charity through repurposing our old workwear.

The Red Cross and other local charities in Halewood have also benefitted from JLR’s commitment to repurposing old workwear items. Part of the new workwear range includes offering a hijab for the first time – allowing those that wish to, to celebrate their faith at work and promote their sense of belonging to JLR.

Other benefits include workwear being temperature regulating, which addresses skin sensitivity, maternity options and many other options which are available in over 300 sizes and variants for all colleagues.

Jen Deeming, Senior Analyst at JLR’s Electric Propulsion Manufacturing Centre said: “I really feel like the company has invested in me with the new workwear range. The quality is amazing, and I feel like they really involved women like me in the planning and design.

"The cut of the material goes beyond just a ‘small, medium or large’ sizes which makes it feel more personalised to the growing number of women at JLR. Being comfortable at work is something we all take for granted but it makes such a difference to your working experience.”