There’s good news for graduates and school leavers as the war for talent sees employers digging deep to attract the best candidates – even if pay seems to be spiralling at the other end of the seniority spectrum. Meanwhile, the government is determined to put UK on the global map when it comes to autonomous vehicle development, so expect self-drive to arrive pretty soon.
Loop to open in UK
Loop Energy, a Canadian designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells for commercial mobility, is to expand into the UK.
The company’s new facility will be based in Grays, Essex, next to a group of manufacturers that are helping to decarbonise road transport, including Tevva Motors, the hydrogen and electric truck OEM based in Tilbury.
Loop Energy is recruiting for roles at the new facility in areas such as production support, customer support and inventory. The move is a reaction to growing customer demand for the company’s fuel cells in continental Europe and the UK, where diesel and petrol vehicles will start to be banned from 2030.
Elsewhere, BP has unveiled plans to invest up to £50 million in a new, state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK, having already announced its intention to invest up to £18 billion in the UK’s energy system by the end of 2030.
What are the new F1 technical rules for 2023 and why do they keep changing?
F1’s technical regulations are in a constant state of flux because the FIA is forced to make changes to keep the teams in line. The major regulation change F1 has seen this year means amendments throughout the course of the season are inevitable and that adjustments will come into force for the following season and beyond.
The main changes for 2023 have centred on the floor of the cars, owing to the divisive nature of the teams when it comes to some cars porpoising and bouncing – and many of them feel they’re being changed for the wrong reasons.
Read more about the changes here: au.motorsport.com
Government sets out funding package and legal roadmap for autonomous vehicles
The government believe that the autonomous vehicle market in the UK could create up to 38,000 jobs and be worth around £42 billion. Its plans to legislate on safety and provide funding to develop self-driving mean that autonomous vehicles could be on UK roads by 2025.
The plans include £100m in funding, with £34m confirmed on August 19, 2022 for research to support safety developments and inform more detailed legislation. This could include researching the performance of self-driving cars in poor weather conditions and how they interact with pedestrians, other vehicles, and cyclists.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises.”
Manufacturing & Tech
AMTE Power’s new £190m ‘megafactory’ to create more than 1,000 jobs
Leading battery cell manufacturer AMTE Power has selected Dundee as the preferred site for its first MegaFactory in a boost to the UK’s ambitions to produce homegrown battery cells for a net zero society.
The factory will create up to 215 highly skilled jobs and 800 more across the supply chain by producing the high-performance battery cells needed to help electrify vehicles, homes, and industries for the UK’s energy transition.
AMTE Power remains one of the only companies in the UK currently producing battery cells and the proposed new site at Dundee’s Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) would ensure the business can rapidly scale up to mass manufacturing volumes.
Execs & Leaders
CEO pay is rising dramatically
Research by the High Pay Centre shows that FTSE100 CEOs were paid 39% more in 2021 than in 2020, with their median pay reaching £3.41 million. The economic strain of the pandemic caused CEO pay to drop in 2020, but this has since rebounded. High Pay Centre’s report states that “while ‘pay ratios’ between lead executives and their employees widened...any hopes that the pandemic had engendered a new spirit of solidarity resulting in lower levels of top pay and reduced income inequality were quickly dashed.”
Between 2020 and 2021, FTSE100 median CEO pay rose 39% from £2.46 million to £3.41 million - the highest wage level since 2018. Mean pay reached £4.26 million in 2021, up from £3.4 million in 2020. As a result, FTSE100 CEOs are now paid 109 times more than the average UK worker – the figure was 79 times in 2020, and 107 times in 2019.
Three times as many FTSE100 companies increased CEO pay in 2021 than decreased it. 72 companies paid their CEOs more than in 2020, and just 24 reduced wages.
The top financial incentives offered to UK graduates in 2022
A survey of 104 firms from the Institute of Student Employers found that sign-on bonuses were the most offered financial perk in 2022, a year where graduate salaries have risen at their fastest level for twenty years. The median starting salary for graduates in 2021 was £30,500, with some employers increasing starting salaries by 20 per cent.
The five most common financial incentives offered to graduates are:
Sign-on bonuses (offered by 34 per cent of firms)
Interest-free or low-interest loans (24 per cent).
Transportation allowance (20 per cent).
Relocation bonus (17 per cent).
Salary advance schemes (15 per cent).
Salaries for school and college leavers are increasing at an even faster rate, with general pay growth for apprentices at eleven per cent this year compared to seven per cent for graduates. Some employers are increasing salaries for apprenticeships by as much as 50 per cent, the report said, and the median starting salary for school and college leavers was £19,489 in 2021.