Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Skills and recruitment must be high on the agenda of the Government’s new battery strategy taskforce if the UK is to succeed in its goal of developing a world-leading battery economy.

Specialist renewable energy recruiters at Jonathan Lee Recruitment have welcomed the inception of the taskforce, which will support the creation of a battery strategy for the UK, but say the significance of recruitment cannot be overlooked.

Lee Elwell, Associate Director at the longstanding recruitment firm, said: “As recognised in the Government’s recent call for evidence for the battery strategy, the design, development, manufacture, and recycling of batteries will play an essential role in meeting our net zero targets. That relates to both energy storage and as the powerhouse for electric vehicles.

“However, the success of these ambitious goals hinges largely on a robust recruitment strategy that aligns with industry needs.”

Seizing opportunities in the battery market

The battery market is poised for transformative growth but this transition from fossil fuels to clean electrification needs a robust battery infrastructure.

The last decade saw the global demand for lithium-ion batteries skyrocket from 0.5 gigawatt-hours to 526 gigawatt-hours, highlighting the potential that lies ahead. 

At the same time, it is predicted that the UK will be producing almost 1.6 million electric vehicles every year by 2040 – all with batteries that need to be made and then ideally, recycled. Plans have been drawn up to meet the cell demand by way of new gigafactories, and there is a need to further develop the recycling element of the supply chain. 

Globally, the battery recycling market alone is estimated to be worth £27bn by 2030 and there are proposals in the pipeline to start building battery recycling facilities in the UK, such as new planned sites by Veolia and Technology Minerals in the West Midlands and LTS in London.

It’s clear to see that the opportunities – and the stakes – in the battery sector have never been higher. But the numbers also beckon an urgent question: Are we ready?

The aspiration to create a circular economy, as presented in Innovate UK’s recent 2035 UK Battery Recycling Industry Vision report, further emphasises the scale of the task ahead. Reclaiming materials from end-of-life batteries, developing sustainable battery lifecycles, and driving innovations in battery design and manufacture are huge undertakings. And like all sectors in renewable energy, they depend upon having a knowledgeable, skilled workforce at their core.

The importance of recruitment

With such an expansive vision for the battery market, the recruitment aspect can’t be relegated to the backseat. Having witnessed the evolutions of numerous sectors over four decades, we understand the pivotal role of a skilled workforce in realising industry ambitions.

By 2040, the battery industry could offer employment to upwards of 100,000 people. As companies gear up for this future, the challenge lies in securing the right skill sets, the visionaries, the innovators, and the diligent workforce that can turn these aspirations into tangible results.

Gearing for the future

“As an organisation with expertise and experience in delivering quality recruitment solutions to the engineering and manufacturing sectors for over 45 years, Jonathan Lee Recruitment is well-positioned to support this growing sector,” Lee adds. 

“Our team of renewable energy recruiters have a deep understanding of what our clients and candidates require. As the UK stands on the cusp of a battery revolution, we’re here, once again, ready to help business prepare for and solve those recruitment challenges.

“Taking the time to look ahead, to identify and nurture the talent pool now is key to success in the future. That means defining the job roles that will be key to delivering a successful battery-orientated economy, while assessing the extent of the skills already out there, those coming through and those that can be transferred.

“Given the scale of the necessity and the opportunity, this has to be supported by a national training and recruitment plan.

“It’s not just about formulating strategies; it’s about ensuring they’re grounded in reality.”

To talk about recruitment for your energy enterprise, please contact Lee Elwell (Associate Director, Energy) on 01384 446154, or email [email protected].

By Editor