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20 Apr 2020


Sisters now working for Jaguar Land Rover in the Midlands

L-R: Zaya, Craig, and Omeah Hancox
L-R: Zaya and Omeah Hancox
Zaya in workshop at college
Omeah and Zaya Hancox

In 2016 two girls were taken by their parents to the Imagineering Fair at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The Fair featured lively stands of funscience, engineering and technology activities laid on for young people by organisations such as GE Aviation, Coventry University, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Fanuc Robotics, Rolls-Royce, Warwick University as well as Jaguar Land Rover. That visit opened up their eyes to the amazing career opportunities in engineering. Today they are both working at Jaguar Land Rover on Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeships.

Omeah Hancox, 18, is in Year 3 of her Apprenticeship working at Event Vehicle Operations at Fen End, near Kenilworth in Warwickshire. Her sister Zaya Hancox, 16, is on her first year of her Apprenticeship, working at the Classic Works operation at JLR’s plant at Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry. And it
turns out, engineering is a family affair! Their father Craig Hancox has been working at Jaguar Land Rover for over 32 years and is currently working in the Production Control team within Vehicle Scheduling at JLR’s Solihull plant.

So what impression did Imagineering make on Omeah? “I realised engineering is not just cars, everything around us is engineered. I enjoyed carrying out the fun activities and hearing about different businesses and what they did. I also thought it was interesting to show young people how engineering could be amusing and mind capturing too! It was great to listen to apprentices, take leaflets home – and spend time learning with the family.”

Zaya said: “I encountered things I had never seen before and was overwhelmed by the endless career paths I realised were available. It gave me a much more in-depth insight of the unlimited possibilities of engineering. As a child I was always curious as to how things worked. The Imagineering event put it into perspective for me – I realised I could actually be a part of the future of engineering.”

Both girls admit that their father’s own career at JLR was also a great influence.

Omeah: “Another influence was my father’s avid passion for cars. He has worked for Jaguar for 32 years and his appreciation for the craftsmanship rubbed off on me and inspired my career in engineering.”

Zaya too agrees about her father’s influence: “Because of my father, I was aware of the countless opportunities JLR provided. In Year 11 an opportunity came along for me to take part in the JLR ‘Furthering Futures’ one week career immersion programme, where I gained an understanding of the various apprenticeship types that were available. I was amazed by the future of autonomous vehicles and the possibilities that new technology is creating!”

The girls’ education and their choice of GCSE subjects also played a part. Omeah attended the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry, a school for 14-18 year olds which focusses on STEM subjects and employer engagement, which broadened her views of engineering. Her GCSEs included Triple Science, Maths, Engineering Manufacturing and Engineering Design. Zaya’s GCSE subjects included Maths, Design Technology, Double Science as well as Business.

Omeah and Zaya both found the Imagineering experience fun, spending time learning with their family – a key element of the Imagineering philosophy. Family is an important peer group and if young people are having fun they learn quickly and are more easily inspired. Only 12 years old when she visited the Imagineering Fair, Zaya was unsure what direction to take with her studies but admits that her visit gave her something to think about, even at that age.

And what does the future hold?

For Zaya: “My plans and ambitions for my career are to encourage more women to get into engineering careers as I believe this is very important factor. I will pursue the endless development opportunities that are available to all employees and help shape the company’s future.”

Omeah too hopes to work towards a goal in automotive design: “My future ambition for my career is to advance towards the design aspect of vehicle interiors. I feel I will benefit from my hands on skills I gain daily now, as I will fully comprehend how, for example, a seat is physically fitted into the vehicle, prior to designing it.”

Imagineering’s Chairman, Bob Shanks, commented: “Zaya and Omeah demonstrate the important role Imagineering plays in career inspiration engaging both students and their parents. Our fun hands-on approach changes perception and increases awareness of the many career paths available in engineering. Omeah and Zaya are great ambassadors for us and the future of UK engineering is in safe hands with young engineers like these. ”

For more information on Jaguar Land Rover Apprenticeships click here.

posted by Joy Smith | comments 0 | tagged Press releases


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