Category for 'News'
Foreign investments into Birmingham up by over 50% according to Marketing Birmingham
09 May 2013
The number of foreign investments into Birmingham has risen by more than half in the last 12 months as a result of the city’s continued drive to attract more inward investment, according to new research from the Marketing Birmingham Regional Observatory.
Birmingham attracted a 52% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2012/13, with the city securing 41 new projects compared with 27 in 2011/12. The 41 projects created and safeguarded 4,003 jobs for the city – an increase of 29%. The jobs will boost the local economy by an estimated £174 million.
Since launching in April 2011, Business Birmingham, the city‘s inward investment programme, has helped to double the number of foreign investment projects coming to the city from 19 in 2010/11 to the 41 reported in today’s analysis.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates Business Birmingham said:
“These results demonstrate that Birmingham has what it takes to win over new foreign direct investment despite tough competition from locations across the globe.
“Our focus on key sectors and growth markets is beginning to pay dividends. This year we have successfully broadened our international reach, strengthened our relationship with UKTI and developed a stronger network of local partner support.”
The six sectors targeted for investment by Business Birmingham accounted for four in every five investments in 2012/13. They are advanced engineering; business, professional & financial services; digital media; life sciences; food & drink and IT, Electronics and Communications (ITEC).
Reflecting Birmingham’s established strengths in advanced engineering, nearly half (42%) of the city’s investment projects came from this sector. This included the opening of a new European Manufacturing Hub by Australian packaging company tna, and the expansion of Chinese-owned SAIC UK’s European Design Centre.
ITEC comprised 12% of investments, followed by digital media and life sciences (both 10%). Projects from these sectors included German prosthetics company Otto Bock Healthcare moving into Minworth Trade Park and Australian online retailer Tinyme setting up its UK base at the Innovation Birmingham Campus.
From niche SMEs in high-growth industries to established global conglomerates, companies from 15 countries have located, invested or expanded in Birmingham in the last year. They include French spraying manufacturer Exel Industries; Canadian serious games developer Ayogo; and US-headquartered online marketing specialist ReachLocal.
The US continues to be the largest investor in Birmingham, accounting for nearly a third (27%) of companies locating in the city in the last 12 months. Mirroring Business Birmingham’s international sales strategy, Australia and India (both 12%) and Germany (10%) follow.
Business Birmingham has expanded its international profile and reach over the last 12 months with experts based in North America, India, Australia, Germany and China working with the Birmingham team to promote local investment opportunities. International media coverage of Birmingham as a place to do business also doubled in 2012/13.
Business Birmingham recently launched two tools to help investors locate in the city. They include a pilot Mobile Investment Fund, backed by Birmingham City Council, which will provide financial incentives to companies needing additional support to establish a presence in the city and employ local staff. The programme also launched its Business Catalyst programme, which packages together the support on offer from the city for new investors.
Wouter Schuitemaker, Investment Director of Business Birmingham, said:
“Widening the international profile of the city’s investor base is a cornerstone of Business Birmingham’s future strategy and will see us pursuing investment from new targets such as Japan, Spain, Ireland and France over the next 12 months.
“With the launch of a new Mobile Investment Fund and the Business Catalyst Programme, we are now providing companies with the tools to develop investments here more quickly than in other locations.”
More than half of the 4,003 roles (57%) reported in today’s results were created by new investments to the city rather than acquisitions; a growth of 64% on the previous year. The balance towards job creation rather than safeguarded roles is significant given the new employment opportunities it provides for the local workforce.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council commented:
“Much work has gone into developing Birmingham’s profile and potential as an international business city over the last few years. As the figures show, we are beginning to see it translate into new investments and jobs in our local economy.
“These investments are hopefully just the beginning for companies that could grow to employ thousands of people, boost the skills of our workforce and create clusters of excellence that will attract even further investment here.”
UK Trade & Investment, the national body responsible for inward investment and exporting, is expected to announce the UK’s preliminary FDI figures for 2012/13 on Thursday.
Last year Birmingham attracted a 37% increase in inward investment projects during 2011/12 against a national decline of 2% across the UK.
Graduate market ‘underutilised’ by SMEs
08 May 2013
New research from Totaljobs suggests that small businesses are missing out on a potential wealth of future talent by failing to engage with graduates. The study has identified “an active pipeline of untapped talent” capable of filling almost 200,000 jobs in today’s SME employment sector, in addition to revealing that nine out of ten graduates would like to work for an SME.
Graduates’ reasons for considering such employment include the expectation that their ideas would be more likely to be heard (65%), the belief that SMEs develop their workforces “in a better way” (62%), and the feeling that the culture would suit them better (37%).
And almost a third (29%) of graduates think they have the right skills to work for an SME, compared to just one in ten (10%) who believe they’ve got what it takes for an entry-level role with a major corporate.
Majority of graduates ‘optimistic’ about prospect
07 May 2013
53% of graduates are feeling optimistic about their future career prospects, according to the latest annual Student and Graduate Career Confidence Report from Milkround.
Attendees of Milkround’s Career Confidence Breakfast earlier this month will already have gained a sneak preview of the headline findings, which are now available in full. The survey reflects the views of over 2,000 students and graduates on a range of career-related topics, and is the first to provide a year-on-year comparison with previous findings.
Although less than a third (31%) of graduates felt positive about getting a graduate job on leaving university, 56% were optimistic about gaining some sort of job. When asked what would be most likely to boost their career confidence, 55% said a professional qualification, 52% a career mentor and 47% regular meetings with a careers adviser.
71% cited the level of competition as their main concern in seeking a graduate job (a 2% rise from last year), while other major concerns included a perceived lack of graduate jobs and worries about insufficient relevant experience. It’s also noteworthy that media coverage seems to be having a negative effect on students’ and graduates’ career confidence, with more than a third (37%) claiming it leaves them feeling unable to get a job.
Employers and young people worlds apart during recruitment process
30 Apr 2013
UK employers are finding a clear mismatch between their expectations and those of young people during the recruitment process according to new research.
The survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found the mismatch is hindering young people’s access to the labour market and could soon see a skills shortage for UK businesses.
Peter Cheese, Chief Executive at the CIPD, said: “When it comes to recruitment it can feel as though young people and employers are on completely different planets. Too many young people are struggling to find their first job, whereas many employers are finding it difficult to get the skills they need. This mismatch needs to be addressed, not only to reduce youth unemployment and the long-term impact it can have on young people, but also to ensure UK businesses are equipped with the right talent for the future.”
More jobs for graduates than the unqualified in UK
24 Apr 2013
The number of jobs in the UK requiring a degree has overtaken the total of posts not needing any qualifications, an employment survey suggests.
More than a quarter of jobs are now available only to graduates, it says.
The study shows a major shift in the job market towards requiring many more skilled workers, as roles disappear for those without qualifications.
Researchers at the Institute of Education surveyed 3,000 adults across the job market.
The findings of the Skills and Employment Survey, with the latest figures for 2012, show a significant milestone in the employment landscape, with graduate jobs at a record high level and unskilled jobs at a record low.
In the mid-1980s, graduate jobs accounted for about one in 10 jobs, and more than three times as many unskilled jobs would then have been open to school-leavers without any qualifications.
Through the 1980s, 1990s and the first decade of this century, this has relentlessly shifted, with a growing number of jobs needing degrees, while unskilled jobs have become a shrinking part of the labour market.
The fall in jobs without qualifications has accelerated since 2006 and this latest survey places it at a “historic low” of 23% of the labour market, compared with 26% for graduate jobs.
“At no time in the 1986-2012 period have falls and rises of these magnitudes been recorded,” says the report.
Among part-time workers, the proportion of jobs available to the unqualified has fallen even further, down by more than half since the mid-1980s.
The study, funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, is the latest evidence of the difficulties facing unqualified and poorly qualified young people entering the job market.
A long-standing problem has been the skills mismatch between employers being unable to find suitably qualified staff while there are high numbers of unemployed youngsters.
This also adds further evidence to the debate about whether the economy needs more or fewer graduates, and whether this is the latest step towards a graduate economy.
The OECD has argued that increasing the number of graduates and skilled workers will help to drive economic growth and that those without skills will find themselves increasingly marginalised and with poor job prospects.
A major report from the Pew research group in the United States this year examined whether it was still worth going to university, and found that those with degrees had weathered the recession much more successfully in terms of protecting income and avoiding job losses.
The US study rejected the anecdotal evidence that debt-burdened graduates were finding themselves stuck in low-skilled jobs.
And this latest UK study from the Institute of Education shows that fewer graduates are now in non-graduate jobs – with this “over-qualification rate” falling.
The survey says that 74% of those with degrees are in graduate jobs, compared with 69% in 2006.
Prof Francis Green, of the Institute of Education, said this suggested a better use of graduates in the workforce.
“Although mismatches remain quite high, this turnaround may signal more effective use of qualifications at work by employers.
“Employers have been slow to take up the swathes of better-qualified workers, but now they are starting to wake up to the use of graduate labour.”
Neil Carberry, the CBI’s director of education and skills, said: “The vast majority of young people in future are going to need a route to higher skills if the UK is going to compete globally.
“The changing face of the economy means that we have to expand alternative routes to higher skills alongside traditional residential university courses.
“Even below degree level, addressing the shortage of skilled technicians we face will require better-quality courses, with a strong role for businesses working with universities, colleges and providers to design the curriculum.”
Source: BBC News Online
Manufacturers benefit from KEEN success
17 Apr 2013
Manufacturers across the West Midlands are benefitting from a business improvement programme designed to increase their profitability and growth.
The programme, known as the Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN), is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and enables small and medium sized businesses to work alongside regional universities such as Coventry.
This includes: access to a graduate known who works full-time on a bespoke project; ongoing mentoring and support; access to equipment; and a travel budget worth an average of £4,000.
Solihull-based WB Timber Innovations, an associate of historic company Wyckham Blackwell, is among the many businesses benefitting from KEEN. The business was founded in 2011 and designs timber buildings.
Director David Himmons said: “Coventry University’s knowledge and support has proved invaluable in bringing together all the elements from design, product development and testing as well as marketing.
“We are also able to collaborate with different departments within the university, making it possible to access the requisite knowledge and expertise to everyone’s benefit.”
Paul Fairburn, director of business development at Coventry University, added: “Coventry University continually encourages and supports the start-up and development of innovation-led, high-growth, knowledge-based businesses through a number of initiatives.
“KEEN is one of the many ways companies can access this support on a highly flexible and responsive level. This results in the transfer of knowledge into the business via a recent graduate and the university offers support to the company from the application stage, during recruitment and for the lifetime of the project.”
Grad Central is offering Coventry University and all the other universities across the Midlands the opportunity to promote all of the KEEN vacancies through its jobs board. To find out more, visit: www.grad-central.co.uk/keen-graduate-jobs-about-keen
University of Birmingham is major contributor to region’s economy
13 Apr 2013
West Midlands graduate recruitment specialist Grad Central has welcomed the latest research from Oxford Economics that highlights the important role the University of Birmingham plays in the region’s economy.
The report, which the economic impact of the university on the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands region during the 2011/12 academic year, found that the University of Birmingham contributes more than £1 billion to the West Midlands economy annually and supports almost 12,000 jobs.
Oxford Economics found that the financial benefits of the university on the region was almost double the combined value-added economic impact of the eight largest football clubs in the region; a group which includes three current premier league teams and two others who recently graced the top flight of English football.
The research also found that the university contributed £898 million to the city, supporting 9,640 jobs, which is equivalent to one job in every 50 in Birmingham. Vice Chancellor Professor David Eastwood, said: “The £1 billion figure demonstrates just how important higher education is to the development of the regional and national economy, even more so in the challenging financial environment. The University’s contribution to the region’s economy has increased by 38 per cent since 2005/06. The number of jobs we have created at the University has increased by more than 5 per cent in the last decade, in comparison to a rise of just over 1 per cent in Birmingham as a whole. The stability this brings is helping to mitigate the impact of the recession and volatile employment levels in the region.” A full copy of the Oxford Economics report is available on the University of Birmingham website – www.birmingham.ac.uk
More graduate jobs throughout 2013
04 Apr 2013
There will be more jobs for new graduates in 2013, a survey of leading employers suggests.
The latest High Fliers study suggests that top employers plan to hire 18,306 graduates in 2013, some 2.7% more than last year.
In addition employers will provide paid work experience places for 11,387 students and new graduates. The report warns that graduates without work experience will struggle to get jobs no matter how good their grades.
The study, based on responses from 100 leading employers, shows that the graduate job market stalled in 2012 when entry level vacancies decreased by 0.8% compared with 2011.
A similar study 12 months ago reported that employers were expecting to increase graduate recruitment by more than 6% in 2012. In fact many cut their targets due to economic uncertainty.
The report calls the outlook for 2013 “cautiously optimistic”, but warns that the number of vacancies on offer this year remains 11% lower than in 2007, before the recession.
Almost half of employers plan to hire additional graduates in 2013 while will a further third will maintain their intake at 2012 levels, says the study.
The biggest growth areas are the public sector, retail, engineering and industry.
The top employer of new graduates in 2013 is Teach First with 1,260 vacancies, followed by the consultancy firms Deloitte and PwC, planning to hire 1,200 new graduates each.
Starting salaries offered by the leading graduate employers are expected to remain unchanged for the fourth year running but the median remains £29,000.
The most generous starting salaries are at investment banks at about £45,000; followed by law firms at about £38,000; and oil and energy companies at about £32,500.
Public sector recruits are the least well paid group on this list with starting salaries averaging £22,000.
The study emphasises the growing importance of work experience. Over half the recruiters polled warned that graduates with no previous work experience at all would be unlikely to get jobs on their graduate programmes.
More than a third of firms said they expected to fill at least a third of entry-level jobs with graduates who had already worked for them in internships, industrial placements or vacation jobs.
Some 80% of employers confirmed they were offering paid work experience for students and recent graduates and over half were providing industrial placements up to a year long.
Money tops graduate concerns
03 Apr 2013
For the first time in five years, salary tops the table of concerns for graduates looking for their first step on the career ladder. It has moved from second to joint first with training and development, which had held first position since 2007.
The Ernst & Young survey of 2,205 students revealed that the importance of training and development had plummeted in the eyes of the 2013 class, gaining just 22% of the vote compared to 41% in 2012.
“Graduates still recognise the importance of the longer term benefits that ultimately come from pursuing an employer that offers training and development opportunities. But they are now also increasingly looking for jobs that will enable them to clear the burden of debt from their shoulders as quickly as possible,” added Bingham.
Work-life balance is also becoming an increasingly important consideration for students when choosing an employer moving to third place in the ranking, up from fifth place in 2011.
“This generation have grown up with more collaborative and virtual ways of working and expect the same opportunities to be available at their place of work. Employers need to recognise this and adapt if they are going to win the war for talent,” said Bingham.
Other concerns for graduates included business reputation (16%), people & culture (16%) and ethical and environmental reputation (6%).
Source: Economia – Raymond Doherty
One-in-five young people need to enter engineering to address UK skills shortage
24 Mar 2013
One-in-five young people will need to go into engineering in order for the UK to achieve its goal of rebalancing the economy away from the financial sector, new research suggests.
The research from Social Market Foundation (SMF) shows there is a 40,000 a year shortage in home grown graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors.