Is Britain skilled enough to leave the EU?
With the EU Referendum occurring tomorrow, James Turnpenny, Team Manager for Engineering at JAM Recruitment, has commented on the implications of Brexit on the manufacturing job market:
"The implications that would arise from the UK leaving the European Union are vast and wide ranging, with an impact expected to be seen across a whole host of areas – we’ve all heard of the changes that a break away will have on topics such as the economy and immigration, however a decision to leave could lead to the UK suffering from an even greater skills shortage. It’s already been reported that the UK will need over a million new engineers and technicians by 2020 in order to tackle the skills crisis.
"Put simply, the UK doesn’t currently have the required levels of trained workers within the engineering industry to leave the EU. Across many industries we’re in a similar position as we find ourselves in with engineering. Within the sector, there is currently a war for talent, as we’re not in a position where we have the trained home-grown workforce that would allow us to continue operating at a level the industry requires.
"The much publicised current skills shortage means we’re increasingly looking to other nations to source workers who posses the required skillset to fill roles. Presently, a high proportion of students enrolled in engineering courses are overseas students meaning that once they’re qualified they may decide, or be forced, to return home – a victory for the ‘Yes’ campaign would certainly have an impact on the number of skilled workers in the UK."
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.