May 16, 2020

The Trades Union Congress calls for manufacturing job shortages to be tackled by 2030

Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Trades Union Congress
In the UK, the manufacturing sector continues to see a depletion in numbers, with many longstanding employees looking to retire in the next 10 years. In...

In the UK, the manufacturing sector continues to see a depletion in numbers, with many longstanding employees looking to retire in the next 10 years. In order to plug the gap and entice talent to the industry, the Trades Union Congress has stated its need for £1mn to support the growth of manufacturing and high-tech jobs by 2030, according to The Guardian.

“The rise in pay growth is little consolation for workers in the middle of the longest pay squeeze in 200 years, with real wages expected only to get back to pre-crisis level in 2024.  We need a plan that supports jobs and wages. 

“That means the government putting the minimum wage up to £10 as quickly as possible, and it means giving unions the freedom to enter every workplace and negotiate fair pay rises,” commented TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady.

In requesting for specific benchmarks or KPIs to be created in order to facilitate progress, the TUC has highlighted its views that the UK’s industrial policy. Since its implementation, its objective remains unclear, where minimal change has been put in place.

Bolstering job figures, enticing talent and improving employee pay remain key areas, where measurable targets could guarantee continuing productivity across the manufacturing industry (which presently accords for more than 40% of all UK exports) will remain vital to the UK economy.

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“Too many parts of Britain have been held back by a lack of decent jobs. Businesses, government and trade unions need to work together, locally and nationally, to bring hi-tech industries to more places across the UK,” added O’Grady.

The TUC’s target of developing £1mn in manufacturing and hi-tech jobs will therefore work alongside the government’s aim to fully reduce emissions across the industry, where technology, particular green solutions will play a central role in promoting its sustainability goals.

Additionally, touching on the UK’s industrial strategy challenge fund, delivered by the UK’s Research and Innovation, the multi-billion fund will remain key to the development of future solutions and the subsequent growth of the industry, transforming existing industries, as well as creating new ones.  

“It’s building on things that UK is strong at already. For example, there’s part of the challenge fund which is focused towards the automotive sector, there’s parts of it focused towards low carbon, and there are parts of it that are focused on new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, where the UK already has some strengths and osme potential to get really ahead of the curve internationally and start exporting those strengths to the rest of the world,” stated - Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure, CBI.

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May 10, 2021

Timeline: Tesla's Construction of Gigafactories

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Sustainable Manufacturing | Gigafactory | Electric Vehicles | EVs | Tesla | Smart Manufacturing | Automotive Manufacturing | Technology
A brief timeline of Tesla’s Gigafactory construction progress over the years, furthering its efforts in sustainable energy and electric vehicles...

Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy

Founded in 2003, Tesla was established by a group of engineers with a drive to "prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars." Almost 20 years on, Tesla today is not only manufacturing all electric vehicles, but scaleable clean energy generation and storage too. 

"Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better," says Tesla. "Electric cars, batteries, and renewable energy generation and storage already exist independently, but when combined, they become even more powerful – that’s the future we want. "

Tesla Gigafactories

In order to deliver on its promise of "accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and energy products," Tesla's Gigafactory journey began in 2014 to meet its produciton goals of 500,000 cars per year (a figure which would require the entire worlds supply of lithium-ion batteries at the time).  

By ramping up its production and bringing it in-house, the cost of Tesla 's battery cells declined "through economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimisation of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof." With this reduction in battery cost, "Tesla can make products available to more and more people, allowing us to make the biggest possible impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy."

2014: Giga Nevada and Giga New York begin construction

Born out of necessity to meet its own supply demand for sustainable energy, Tesla began the construction of its first Gigafactory in June 2014, in Reno, Nevada, followed by its Buffalo, New York facility the same year. "By bringing cell production in-house, Tesla manufactures batteries at the volumes required to meet production goals, while creating thousands of jobs," said Tesla.

2016: Reno, Nevada grand opening

Tesla’s construction of Giga Nevada came to an end in 2016, the first of its Gigafactories to complete its construction project. The factory’s grand opening took place in July 2016, and by mid-2018 reached an annual battery production rate of 20 GWh, which made it the highest-volume battery plant in the world that year. 

2017: Giga New York begins production

Two years after Tesla’s second Gigafactory began construction, Giga New York was complete, and started its production operations in 2017.

2019: Giga Shanghai construction to production in record time

In 2019, Tesla selected Shanghai as its third Gigafactory location. The company constructed the factory in record time, taking just 168 working days from gaining permits to finishing the plant's construction.

2019: Giga Berlin begins construction

Announced in November 2019, Tesla began the construction of its first European Gigafactory in Berlin. The Gigafactory is still under construction.

2020: Giga Texas begins construction

The following year in August 2020, Tesla began the construction of its Giga Texas factory. The company’s third Gigafactory in the US is still under construction.

2021: Giga Texas and Giga Berlin expected completion of construction

Looking to the future, Tesla expects to complete the construction of its Giga Texas and Giga Berlin factories in May 2021 and July 2021 respectively.

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