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JLR invests millions in new workwear for workers

JLR is investing millions of pounds in luxury workwear and new ways of working – including introducing radio music – at its UK production facilities including the Electric Propulsion Manufacturign Centre at the i54, Wolverhampton.

The new workwear

The new range was developed in consultation with JLR staff and has more than 300 options available – including a hijab option, maternity wear as well as temperature-regulating clothing.

Following two years of extensive research, testing and trials, JLR has also committed over £2 million into bringing radio to its manufacturing sites, to boost morale and workplace experience over the airwaves.

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 their workforce who overwhelmingly expressed that music would help their mental wellbeing and drive a happier working environment and culture, 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 who is 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.

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.

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.

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, 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.”

The workwear combines cotton with between 40 and 96 per cent recycled polyester depending on the garment, alongside softshell padding made from recycled material.

The company have also been working closely with charitable organisations such as The Salvation Army Trading and Commerce, which is the trading arm of The Salvation Army, and have been supporting them to raise money for charity through repurposing old workwear.

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.”

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