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JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) has collaborated with virtual music group Gorillaz in an attempt to discover a new generation of software and electrical engineering talent through via a code-breaking challenge in the Gorillaz app.

The initiative aims to recruit more than 1000 electronic and software engineers to JLR, expanding to 5000 recruits by the end of the year.

Cracking the code can be done by entering the Gorillaz app, which shows a 360-degree environment in the band’s garage featuring a Jaguar I-Pace concept, as well as vehicles from previous Gorillaz music videos.

Virtual reality: Users of the Gorillaz app can learn about the Jaguar I-Pace and the benefits of EV technology before attempting to solve a series of code-based puzzles.

The two-part challenge starts with assembling the I-Pace concept, while learning about the benefits and intricacies of electric vehicles.

After completion of the first segment, users are tasked with cracking code in a alternative reality game format, which is designed to seek out the aspiring software and electrical boffins.

The challenge aims to test applicants on a series of code breaking puzzles designed to test curiosity, persistence, problem solving and lateral thinking.

JLR says those who are able to complete the puzzles will be fast-tracked through the recruitment, helping to address the engineering skills gap. Traditional employment methods like resumes will still be accepted.

JLR head of electrical engineering Alex Heslop said that in order to recruit the best talent, the car-maker needed to change the way they go about its hiring process.

“As the automotive industry transforms over the next decade, fuelled by software innovation, we have to attract the best talent and that requires a radical rethink of how we recruit,” he said.

“Here we’ve found an engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance. It will be the first of its kind.”

It is anticipated that the recruits will be used to further develop JLR’s research into autonomous vehicle technology, following an announcement last week that the Tata-owned brand will invest $25 million into ride-sharing platform Lyft, which will help it test and develop mobility services – including autonomous vehicles.

JLR is also working on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, as well as autonomous tech for off-roading in its Land Rover models.

The car-maker’s seemingly obscure partnership with Gorillaz started in 2016 when Gorillaz female guitarist Noodle was made a brand ambassador for Jaguar’s Formula E racing program and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), hoping to address the gender gap in the field.

Gorillaz was founded in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn of Blur fame and artist Jamie Hewlett, consisting of four virtual members – including Noodle.