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Volta Trucks’ EV approval to bring huge Hull orders to life as 240 jobs are created


Volta Trucks, the company behind a massive contract with Hull-based Paneltex, has received European approval to deliver its new model at scale, which will create 240 new jobs.

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built all-electric 16-tonne vehicle, and it has received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

Paneltex will supply the cargo box for the Austrian-made trucks and is currently constructing a large new factory in East Yorkshire to handle the demand.

Read More: Electric vehicle start-up Arrival cuts 800 jobs as it focuses on the US

A total of 240 new jobs are expected to be created at Dianthus Business Park in Newport as the site is expanded to meet demand.

Essa Al-Saleh, chief executive at Volta Trucks, said: “Receiving the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval is a huge milestone for Volta Trucks, and our mission to make city centre streets safer and more sustainable for all. We’ve developed a completely new vehicle from the ground up, and it’s a testament to our engineering and developments teams that the Volta Zero has passed these stringent and demanding tests so quickly.

Read More: Electric vehicle maker Arrival cutting jobs again in a pivot away from the UK to the US

“We are now all set for the start of series production at our manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria, to put trucks into the hands of our customers, and start the work of delivering on our mission.”

As part of a pilot fleet of vehicles, second-generation ‘production verification’ prototypes will be delivered to customers across Europe soon.

Customers will be able to borrow these for extended periods of time, allowing fleet operators to fully understand how the all-electric medium-duty truck will fit into their operations.

Read More: Ford cuts 3000 jobs to focus on electric vehicles

The Swedish company, which has established service and maintenance hubs in London, France, Germany, and Spain, expects to begin proper production within the next few months.

Paneltex is behind the specialist kitting out of refrigerated supermarket delivery vehicles across the UK and North America, where there has been tremendous growth as a result of the explosion of online ordering.

The Newport base comes on the heels of record performance at its Hull operations, with a further 40 percent uplift anticipated with the record-breaking contract.

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Chris Berridge, managing director, said: “We are delighted that the Volta Zero has achieved the European Whole Vehicle Approval accreditation, necessary to allow it to enter service in volume as a full type approved vehicle.

“We have been working closely with Volta Trucks to ensure that Paneltex can also offer our own Whole Vehicle Approvals for second stage upfit which enables further development of specialised cargo bodies to add to the standard products.

“Construction of the production verification fleet has been ongoing both at Steyr in Austria and at Paneltex in Hull and we are ready to begin the supply of production cargo bodies from Hull on time.

“Equipping our new factory at Dianthus Park remains on track, although still subject to receiving planning consent for the change of use for the building. We are intending that this plant will begin operation this summer to support the rapid ramp-up of truck production in Austria from that point. This is a significant and exciting development for Paneltex and we are proud to be supporting the design and manufacture of such an innovative zero-emissions truck product. The whole truck has been re-imagined from the ground up to suit 21st century urban logistics and we believe that it will have global appeal.”

Source: Business Live

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What employers can do to prepare for the Fintech revolution


The fintech revolution has brought about significant changes in the financial industry, with new technologies and innovations disrupting traditional ways of doing business.

Employers in the financial industry must prepare for this revolution to remain competitive and relevant in the market, particularly as technologies such as blockchain become more mainstream.

So, what should employers in the financial sector be considering helping brace themselves for a revolution that has been building steadily since the onset of the pandemic?

Invest in training and development

To keep up with the fintech revolution, employees need to acquire new skills and knowledge. Employers should invest in training and development programs to help employees stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends in the industry. This could involve providing access to online courses, workshops, conferences, and other learning opportunities. You should also consider reaching out to a fintech law firm to learn more about the ethical and legal risks of fintech.

Foster a culture of innovation

Employers should encourage and foster a culture of innovation within their organizations. This could involve setting up innovation labs, hackathons, or other initiatives that encourage employees to come up with new ideas and solutions to business problems. By fostering a culture of innovation, employers can create an environment that is conducive to the fintech revolution.

Collaborate with fintech startups

Collaborating openly with fintech startups will help your company to stay abreast of new technologies and innovations. Startups can provide valuable insights and expertise on emerging trends, which can help employers stay competitive in the market. Employers can also partner with startups to develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers.

Implement agile development practices

Agile development practices can help employers respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands. By adopting agile methodologies, employers can develop and launch new products and services faster and more efficiently. This can help them stay ahead of the competition and capitalise on new opportunities in the market.

Embrace digital transformation

Employers should embrace digital transformation to stay relevant in the fintech revolution. This could involve implementing new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain to improve business operations and customer experiences. Employers should also prioritise digitizing their processes to enable more efficient and streamlined operations.

Attract the right talent

Don’t be afraid to look overseas to help bridge the talent gap between supply and demand in the sector. Remote working has truly opened up the options when it comes to working easily and comfortably with global talent.

The fintech revolution is here to stay, and employers in the financial industry must prepare for it to remain competitive and relevant in the market. By adhering to the tips above and having a generally open and explorative mindset, financial employers can position themselves for success in the fintech era and move confidently with the digital wave.

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Barclays to close 14 more branches across the UK


Barclay has announced the closure of an additional fourteen branches, which will bring the total number closed to 55 by the end of the year.

The decision to shut down branches has been justified by the bank citing a lack of footfall and the high cost of keeping them open.

Despite the justification provided, the closure of branches has been met with criticism from customers, who have voiced their concerns over the negative impact on local communities and the inconvenience of having to travel further to access banking services.

READ MORE: Barclays could save £200m by pausing payments to staff pension scheme

The effects of these closures have been especially felt by elderly and vulnerable customers who may have difficulty traveling to other branches or accessing digital banking services.

Barclays also runs pop-up banking sites – it currently has 200 of these and has announced plans to increase this number by another 70.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers.

“Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence though our Barclays Local network, live in over 200 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our new banking pods.

Full list of latest Barclays closures

  • 4 High Street, Manningtree, England, CO11 1AF – June 7, 2023
  • 6/8 High Street, Ringwood, England, BH24 1BZ – June 8, 2023
  • 58 High Street, Newmarket, England, CB8 8NH – June 9, 2023
  • 10 Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, Wales, NP23 6HQ – June 9, 2023
  • 21 Cowgate, Kirkintilloch, Scotland, G66 1HW – June 9, 2023
  • 10 Yorick Road, West Mersea, Colchester, England, CO5 8HX – June 13, 2023
  • 3 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, England, BR3 4ES – June 14, 2023
  • 47 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, CF47 8DL – June 14, 2023
  • 1 Tudor Square, West Bridgford, England, NG2 6BT – June 15, 2023
  • 29 High Street, Mildenhall, England, IP28 7EA – June 14, 2023
  • 21 High Street, Lymington, England, SO41 9YJ – June 15, 2023
  • 35 Notting Hill Gate, London, England, W11 3JR – June 16, 2023
  • 1 Station Road, Knowle, England, B93 0HW – June 16, 2023
  • 137 Brompton Road, London, England, SW3 1QF – July 7, 2023

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Microchip Technology expansion to bring 300 new jobs to Oregon

Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology has announced plans to triple its Gresham production facility which will create 300 new jobs in Oregon.

The semiconductor maker, which had already brought 300 jobs in the region, would add another the new jobs over the next few years.

The $800 million initiative would expand and upgrade its 140-acre, 830,000-square-foot Gresham campus.

Read More: Wholesale company SanMar brings 1,000 new jobs to Virginia

Vice President Dan Malinaric said: “Microchip has 120,000 customers for our applications, we ship 8 billion units a year for just about every application you can imagine.”

The firm makes chips for a range of everyday devices, from microwaves to automotive parts.

It was just a few years ago that the chip manufacturer revealed a multi-year growth strategy.

On Monday, March 13, the Arizona-based company announced the progress of a multimillion-dollar expansion project.

US Senator Ron Wyden hailed the business for keeping employment across the nation and in Oregon.

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He said: “We don’t want to see the economy dependent on China, it’s national security 101.”

He added: “Oregon is the heart of the semiconductor industry, and today we showed that heart is beating really strong.”

Malinaric said they don’t have a specific timeline for creating the 300 jobs, but it will happen within the next two to three years.

Over the past months, a group of Oregon lawmakers has been working to attract more semiconductor makers to the state by offering incentives and freeing up land.

Source: KGW

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US court rules Uber and Lyft workers are contractors in workers’ rights dispute

Uber & Lyft

A US court has ruled “gig” economy behemoths such as Uber and Lyft can continue to treat their employees as independent contractors.

The lawsuit was launched over Proposition 22 by labor groups and some workers, who claimed it deprived them of rights such as sick leave.

But the California Court of Appeal ruled that Proposition 22, a labor measure, was mostly constitutional.

Read More: Google contractors at data centers reportedly fired for union affiliations

According to the firms, the proposition protects other benefits like flexibility.

The latest decision overturns a ruling made by a lower court in California in 2021, which found that Proposition 22 interfered with lawmakers’ ability to set workplace standards.

The state of California, as well as a group representing Uber, Lyft, and other companies, filed an appeal.

Read More; Google Maps contractors win extension on return to office after row over “unsafe work conditions”

A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled on Monday that employees could be treated as independent contractors.

However, it removed a provision from Proposition 22 that restricted worker collective bargaining.

After-hours trading saw shares of Uber and Lyft rise nearly five percent.

Read More: Google Maps contractors fighting return to office plan

Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber said: “Today’s ruling is a victory for app-based workers and millions of Californians who voted for Prop 22,”

Mr. West said: “We’re pleased that the court respected the will of the people and that Prop 22 will remain in place, preserving independence for drivers.”

Lyft said that the proposition “protects the independence drivers value and gives them new, historic benefits.”

Read More: Military contractor to add hundreds of jobs in at Virginia campus

The Service Employees International Union, which had challenged Proposition 22’s constitutionality with several drivers, said it was considering appealing the court’s decision.

California voters approved Proposition 22 in November 2020, allowing freelance workers to be classified as independent contractors.

It was a victory for Uber and Lyft, which spent $205 million (£168.7 million) to support the bill.

Read More: Federal construction contractor creates 40+ new high-wage jobs

However, the victory came with some conditions, and businesses were required to provide workers with benefits such as healthcare and accident insurance.

Some drivers supported Proposition 22, but others, including labor groups, opposed it, citing all the benefits of being classified as an employee, such as sick days, leave, and overtime pay.

Tens of millions of people work in the global gig economy, which includes services such as food delivery and transportation.

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Gig workers are paid for specific tasks such as food delivery or car rides rather than a regular wage.

Most federal and state labor laws in the United States, such as those mandating a minimum wage or overtime pay, do not apply to gig workers.

Firms like Uber and Lyft have come under increased inspection as the industry grows.


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Plans for £450m Manchester regeneration could create almost 2,000 jobs

Designs for the new life science and student accommodation in Manchester

A new £450 million plan to build a life sciences space and student homes in Manchester that would create 1,9000 new jobs and apprenticeships has been revealed.

The plans for the Ardwick area of the city could bring a £138 million economic benefit to the area.

Upper Brook Street is being developed by McLaren Property, Property Alliance Group (Alliance), Moda Living, and Kadans Science Partner.

Read More: How reopening 12 pubs and hotels in the UK will create 1,000 new jobs

Hawkins Brown, Sheppard Robson, and SimpsonHaugh designed the scheme, which would include green space, pocket parks, and improved pedestrian and cycling routes.

A GP surgery, a new community centre, retail, and cafes could also be included.

If approved, McLaren Property, in collaboration with Kadans, would provide 740 student apartments and 218,556 square feet of technical real estate.

Read More: January 2023: New data shows UK jobs market continues to grow

The new sci-tech floor space would be created by Kadans’ in-house team, while McLaren Property would create the student housing.

Moda Living and Alliance would provide 470,000 square feet of life sciences space and approximately 1,100 student beds (200 of which would be affordable), as well as mixed-use space.

The student beds are the first to be announced in Moda Living’s 4,000-bed pipeline of student housing.

Read More: Poundland to open 50 stores that will add around 750 new jobs in the UK

David Atherton, development director at McLaren Property, said: “We are excited to be part of a collective effort to regenerate this suite of disused sites.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to reimagine this area of Ardwick working with local people, to help set a new direction of positive change.

“The delivery of new sci-tech-led workspaces, student homes, green spaces and jobs can together transform the way in which these sites contribute to the local area and help support its future economic growth. We are excited to progress discussions with local stakeholders and the community as the plans continue to evolve.”

Read More: New plans could mean UK employees can ask for flexible hours as soon as they start jobs

James Sheppard, managing director, Kadans Science Partner, said: “The plans are a result of a collaborative vision to transform and create a new mixed-use neighbourhood.

“The Manchester science and technology market is growing significantly and desperately requires more highly technical real estate to meet the demand. To address the ever-changing sci-tech landscape, robustness and adaptability continue drive and inform our industry-leading spaces to promote collaboration and innovation.”

Alex Russell of Property Alliance Group, added:  “This masterplan provides an exciting opportunity to unlock and breathe new life into what is a historically rich and vibrant inner-city neighbourhood.

Read More: UK tech firm BJSS Inc to open Columbus office with 50 new jobs

“Residents, students and employees are at the heart of our plans, bringing forward a desirable destination to live and work, with green space, fantastic and much-needed amenities and a place of study and work that attracts and retains the best talent.

“We aim to create a space that is not only recognised internationally for its advanced Life Science facilities and talent pool but in doing so, creates a safe, thriving community for everyone that lives, works and passes through it.

“We look forward to sharing detailed plans and further partnerships joining on this hugely anticipated collaboration.”

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Oscar Brooks, co-founder and director at Moda Living, said: “Upper Brook Street is an extremely exciting masterplan that will completely transform this key central site into a thriving new urban community in the heart of the city.

“Manchester has one of the most vibrant and exciting student scenes in the country, but as a city has been highly underserved in the delivery of secure, high-quality homes for those students.

“Moda’s student homes at the Upper Brook Street neighbourhood will help address that shortage with a focus on wellbeing and student experience, and with social and environmental sustainability at the core of the development.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Alliance, McLaren and Manchester City Council to create an outstanding new part of Manchester.”

SourceBusiness Live

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More NHS strikes as thousands of junior doctors walkout over pay

NHS junior doctors strike

Junior doctors have begun a three-day strike action across England, with tens of thousands of NHS staff joining.

The walkout will see operations and thousands of patient appointments cancelled during the 72-hour walkout, which began on Monday, March 13.

More than 100,000 appointments have been postponed over the course of the winter due to nurse strikes as a row over pay continues.

Read More: RMT union suspends Network Rail strikes later this month after new pay offer

The NHS is preparing for three days of mass disruption as doctors join picket lines outside their hospitals.

The strikes come as The British Medical Association (BMA) is demanding a significant pay hike for doctors.

Its new campaign points out junior doctors get paid less than staff working in Pret A Manger.

The BMA claims junior doctors’ salary has dropped by 26 percent since 2008/09, and balancing it would need a 35.3 percent salary increase.

Read More: National Express drivers vote to strike over pay

Health Secretary Steve Barclay invited the BMA to talks on Friday, March 10, but the union rebuffed, citing “unacceptable” preconditions.

The preconditions are said to have included considering a non-consolidated lump sum payment for last year, but the BMA is demanding “full pay restoration.”

Junior doctors represent around 45 percent of the NHS’s medical staff, and consultants and other medics have been asked to give strike cover in areas such as A&E.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, said the health service would face “extensive disruption” over the next three days.

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Earlier, the NHS chief said the strikes are “likely to be the most severe of all those (strike) days this winter, perhaps even the most severe disruption that we’ve seen of any strike in the NHS during its history.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the comparison is “misleading” since it does not account for the extra earning potential and pay progression available to young doctors.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he does not think it right that “there is so much disruption” caused by strike action as he supported his administration’s anti-strikes rules.

Source: Evening Standard

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Penn Medicine axes administrative jobs to save $40 million annually

Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine will cut a small number of jobs as part of a restructuring to reduce its overhead costs by $40 million annually.

Kevin Mahoney, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told the company’s 49,000 staff the changes in a memo sent last week.

He said the health system will eliminate a “small number of administrative positions which no longer align with our key objectives.”

Read More: Zulily carries out second round of layoffs as revenue declines

Penn Medicine officials were unable to disclose the exact number of staff cuts.

Mahoney noted in his memo that “many” of those affected will be transferred to other positions within the health system.

Others will be given coaching and support to help them find employment outside of the organization.

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The healthcare firm has also taken several initiatives to cut overhead expenses.

It includes renegotiating vendor contracts, standardizing technologies, consolidating enterprise-wide corporate services, and removing duplicative administrative systems.

However, it is trying to boost revenue by negotiating for higher reimbursement rates from its commercial insurance partners this summer.

Source: The Business Journals

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