October 2021


A round up of latest news in brief...

UKBIC adds 30 roles to support first large customer Projects

The national UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the battery manufacturing development facility in Baginton, near Coventry, needs to grow its workforce by 35 per cent so that it can fulfil its orders from the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and battery developers it is working with. It already employs employs more than 80 engineers, technicians and back-office staff.

It is looking to fill senior manufacturing engineers, process engineers, senior control technicians and project coordinators roles, and is looking to recruit from sectors with transferrable skills, such as the automotive, pharmaceutical manufacturing, FMCG, reel to reel manufacturing, printing and high-speed automation.



Electric Car subscription service Onto Places Order with VW UK

Onto, the fast-growing EV subscription company based in Warwick, has placed a large order with Volkswagen UK.

The deal will grow Volkswagen’s presence in Onto’s electric-only fleet, with the e-up!, ID.3 and ID.4 models covering three key vehicle classes popular with subscription customers.



Chip shortage limits JLR sales but orders at record high

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover retail sales for the three-month period to 30 September 2021 continued to be constrained by the impact of the global semiconductor shortage on production. Retail sales were 92,710 vehicles, 18.4% lower than the 113,569 sold in the fiscal Q2 last year.

Underlying demand remains strong with order books at record levels, with global retail orders at record levels in excess of 125,000 vehicles.



Department of Transport Looks to position UK as a world leader in transport technologies

The Government has launched a consultation to consider ground-breaking future transport technologies that could transform how we travel over the next decade.

Measures to safely maximise the opportunities and benefits from emerging aviation technology, including drones, and expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the UK are among a raft of proposals set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.


Further images and details revealed for West Midlands Gigafactory

West Midlands Gigafactory, a public private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, recently unveiled the latest images of the UK’s largest battery Gigafactory.

The Gigafactory will begin supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025 and will be the result of a £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain.

Bosses behind the plans say the crucial investment is “imperative for the UK’s electrified future”, especially for the automotive industry which will stop producing petrol and diesel engines from 2030.


Revolution VLR tests at Long Marston and Ironbridge

A rail project created and developed in Warwickshire promises to bring down the cost of railway schemes has reached a key milestone.

The Revolution Very Light Rail (VLR) system by Eversholt Rail and Stratford-upon-Avon based Transport Design International has successfully completed its initial functional tests at the Warwickshire-based Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre, and will now  undertake further trialling at a new dedicated facility in Ironbridge.


West Midlands named fastest-growing tech sector

As Birmingham Tech Week kicks off the West Midlands has been named the country’s fastest-growing tech sector and the region’s thriving digital industries are expected to create thousands of new jobs by the end of 2025.

According to a new government report released ahead of Birmingham Tech Week, the region has been recognised as a top performer for digital growth and is predicted to create an additional 52,000 roles in the sector over the next four years – a bumper increase of 55 per cent since 2019.



Milestone test for Rosalind Franklin Megalab in Leamington Spa

One million COVID-19 tests have been processed at the new Rosalind Franklin Megalab in Leamington Spa.

Opened in June this year, the laboratory is part of the current Test and Trace network and is at the heart of the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) plans for managing coronavirus (COVID-19), including through scaled up genome sequencing capacity.



Projects reveal health-care strengths at Rugby building contractor

Rugby construction firm Stepnell has demonstrated its expertise in building for the healthcare sector with several significant projects across its southern region.

The contractor is undertaking a trio of refurbishment projects for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) as well as significant building, mechanical and electrical (M&E) works for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.



MTC supports MMC Modern Methods of Construction

The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry has been selected by the Construction Industry Training Board to produce training materials to support the development of offsite construction.

The MTC is to create a set of high-quality materials to upskill trainers in education and industry in offsite manufacturing and construction.



Research shows recruitment woes for Midlands’ businesses

With the Government’s furlough scheme ending, new research from Pearson -the large education and learning company - has found that more than half of business leaders in the Midlands are worried about their ability to find recruits with the right skills for their vacancies. A third that they have not been able to expand as a result.

Pearson commissioned former Training and Skills Minister Anne Milton to speak with educators and employers in the Midlands to find out what more can be done to help the region break its skills deadlock – local talent is not filling the record level of vacancies which exist.



New Destination Management Organisation Launches for Coventry & Warwickshire

A new destination management organisation (DMO) has been launched for business and leisure tourism across Coventry and Warwickshire as it seeks to capitalise on the legacy of its 2021 UK City of Culture title.

Destination Coventry has been launched to manage the city’s tourism offer and further develop its reputation as a compelling visitor destination. Conference Coventry and Warwickshire sits with the newly former DMO and is working to further establish the region as a major destination for business events and will be showcasing the region’s strengths and its portfolio of venues.

The region has received a major boost in recent months with the ongoing programme of UK City of Culture events and is gearing up to play host to the Commonwealth Games in 2022. On any one day, the region can hold meetings for up to 35,000 delegates across its range of diverse and unique venues.





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