The news in our sectors is focused on investment into alternative power and automotive brands battling to be ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, Sir Lewis Hamilton is the face of a welcome report into Black inclusion in motorsport and the wider STEM agenda.
McLaren Group receives £550 million capital injection
The McLaren Group has been bolstered by a £550 million cash injection from a group of shareholders, which will support its plans as a “global luxury supercar and elite motorsport business”.
About £400m comes from funds managed by investment firm Ares Management Corporation and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, with a further £150m from existing shareholders, including Bahrain's Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund and “a limited number of new private investors”, which will go towards repaying a loan that McLaren took out in June 2020 from the Bank of Bahrain.
As recently as December last year the company sold a 15% share in its racing division to US sports investment group MSP Sports Capital for £185m, saying this allowed it to “retain a significant stake in its Formula 1 team while bringing in strategic partner capital to de-risk Racing and allow McLaren to focus on its leading Automotive business”.
Exec & Leaders
Former Dyson CCO joins JLR
Former Dyson Chief Commercial Officer Lennard Hoornik joins Jaguar Land Rover as its new chief commercial officer, replacing Chief Marketing Officer Felix Bräutigam, who left at the end of June.
Hoornik joins the board of directors having spent eight years at Dyson, after holding roles at Sony, Sony Ericsson and HTC. With extensive experience in bold product activation, Hoornik will help JLR realise its Reimagine strategy – a sweeping plan to reverse its fortunes over the next twenty years.
He will be responsible for the sales and marketing of Jaguar and Land Rover brands globally, as well as brand positioning, product planning, customer service and relationship management. This is a key moment for JLR: Jaguar aims to become an all-electric brand by 2025, while Land Rover will launch six new EVs over the next five years, and there will be an all-electric version of every car made by JLR by the end of the decade.
Tokamak Energy pioneers fusion and signals expansion
Fusion energy company Tokamak Energy is set to double its workforce and expand its facility in the UK. The firm’s expansion drive will boost UK fusion development, creating over a hundred and sixty highly skilled new roles for scientists and engineers over the next three years.
Through its ST-40 spherical tokamak, the company is planning to be the first in the world to achieve 100 million degrees Celsius temperature in a stable plasma, an essential cornerstone of economic fusion energy. The UK Government has already provided backing to the UK’s efforts to deliver fusion through the ongoing STEP programme and has provided Tokamak Energy with £10m as part of its Advanced Modular Reactor programme.
The UK is a global centre for the development of fusion - a new source of limitless clean, carbon free, safe and secure energy.
Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Commission publishes report on improving Black inclusion in UK motorsport.
The Hamilton Commission was launched in 2020 to identify key barriers to the recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport. Its new report, Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport, provides ten recommendations which aim to address the issues limiting Black students’ progression into engineering careers, as well as barriers within the motorsport industry.
The report calls for F1 teams to adopt a diversity and inclusion charter, expand apprenticeships provision at motorsport businesses and F1 teams and establish scholarship programmes to help Black students progress into motorsport.
Systemic factors in wider society are also acknowledged in the report, including factors that contribute to the high proportion of students from Black backgrounds being excluded from schools or an interest in STEM subjects.
Don’t believe the doom and gloom, says job search engine
Job search engine Adzuna’s latest research brings some cause for optimism in the benighted graduate job market. Data from the firm shows ten consecutive weeks of growth in graduate hiring, though the research confirms the market has been one of the slowest to recover from the pandemic.
The class of 2021 will enter an increasingly buoyant job market as the spectre of Covid recedes, with graduate job openings increasing more than twofold over the last year, rising to 13,543 in July 2021, up from 4,647.Starting salaries for graduates also rose 10 per cent annually, up to £24,402 from £22,201.
Manufacturing & Technologies
Mirus to expand after receiving grant
Commercial aircraft seating manufacturer, Mirus Aircraft Seating, has received a grant approval of more than £4 million from the ‘New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Business Fund’ to build the largest commercially available aircraft seating test facility in the UK. The company believes the new facility will expand its client base.
The test facility will house the latest aircraft testing technology, which will be an extension to its current 2,500m² head office site in Norfolk. A star technology at the facility will be a 30m-long dynamic test sled for destructive or non-destructive crash test replication. Construction will begin in September 2021, with the official opening scheduled for July 2022. Mirus has already started a recruitment drive for numerous highly skilled roles across engineering and project management.