Author: Amelia Grant

Based on an eight-point criterion, Beauhurst tracks more than 45,000 ambitious* private companies in the United Kingdom for the period between 2020 and 2021, to identify some of the fastest growing businesses in every UK nation, while also shed light on the range of popular sectors and trends and methods of growth.

 

Beauhurst is a searchable, data-driven platform, that helps discover, track, and understand high growth companies in the UK, in a variety of sectors, from education to law, while also unearthing information on unpopular funding opportunities and other key events in the UK.

The United Kingdom has an exquisite start up ecosystem attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all nooks and corners of the world, building world class businesses and products. To be classified a high-growth company in the Beauhurst dataset, it must meet at least one or all the eight-points criteria, called the triggers of growth, that ranges from equity investment to venture debt.

The current outlook published in January this year is based on the 45k+ companies tracked by the platform, and the current analysis focuses on these Beauhurst registered companies with a turnover of at least £100k between 2020-2021. It revealed a majority (88%) of the businesses to be based in England, with just 7% in Scotland, 3% in Wales and 2% in Northern Ireland.

While equity investment remains the common growth method for businesses, the relative percentage of companies that have looked into accelerator programmes for development are much lower in England compared to other countries.

Business and Professional sectors has been identified as the most sought sectors across UK: England (44%), Scotland (38%), Wales (41%) and Northern Ireland (37%)., with fintech being the most popular focus area in England making up for 3.5% all English businesses. 74% of all fintech startups are also headquartered in London.

For London in 2021, the previous High Growth in London 2022 report by Beauhurst had shown fintech emerges as the most popular high-growth industry, accounting for 14% of all active companies in the region representing a whopping 69% of all high growth fintech companies in the UK, followed by artificial intelligence and digital security. The current report repeated the trend in the tech sector with Fintech companies making up 3.5% of the English businesses. Read more of the report and to know the top companies in all nations in the UK.

The West London Skills Summit will bring together local employers and skills/training institutions to contribute to an informed and represented London Local Skills Improvement Plan, an initiative funded by the Department of Education to ensure higher education/skills suits local labour market needs.

The London Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) aims to build a stronger and more dynamic relationship between the employers and skill providers within the local skills system, and plays a crucial role in tackling technical skills shortages. This is of utmost importance in the current economic climate, in an exceptionally tight labour market.

West London Business and West London Alliance own the credit for the sub-region’s annex to the London LSIP. The West London Skills Summit will provide the stage to ensure the representation of diverse voices to contribute to LSIP.

The Summit is a fully catered, all-day event with networking events in between hosted at the West Hall, University of West London. The entry fee is £10.

Follow the link to register or contact Charlie.Boyd@westlondon.com for any queries.

Virgin Atlantic is all set to launch its first net zero flight powered by sustainable fuel. The airlines will resort to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF made predominantly from agricultural and forestry waste, rather than fossil fuels, which has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent.

Virgin Atlantic won the competition and 1£ million in funding to pioneer powering a 100% sustainable aircraft launched by the Department of Transport of the UK Government, in partnership with Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency in December last year. They will be supported by Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield, Rocky Mountain Institute and ICF.

Aviation has been one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise and is set to be the highest-emitting sector by 2050 unless properly intervened. The Jet Zero strategy was published by the UK Government to tackle the crisis, which set the airlines’ approach for decarbonising the sector and SAF acts as one of the main tools for the same. 

One of Virgin Atlanta’s flagship, Boeing 787s will fly from London Heathrow Airport to the John F Kennedy airport in New York. The flight is set to take off from the UK this year. The SAF, fuelling the flight is made primarily from waste oils and fats, such as used cooking oil. While this reduces carbon emissions by 70%, the airline will have biochar credits which will offset the 30% by absorbing additional CO2 back from the atmosphere to remove the greenhouse gas potential.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said,

“For decades, flying from London to New York has symbolised aviation’s ability to connect people and drive international progress. It’s now going to be at the forefront of cutting carbon emissions from flying”

Shai Weiss, the CEO of Virgin Atlantic also mentioned,

“As an airline founded on and committed to innovation, we’re proud to lead a cross-country consortium of partners to make aviation history by operating the first ever 100% SAF flight across the Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight in 1984 was to New York and continues to be one of our popular routes … the research and results will be a huge step in fast-tracking SAF use across the aviation industry supporting the investment, collaboration and urgency needed to produce SAF at scale”

Apart from contributing significantly to the sustainability of the environment, the production of SAF also has the potential to improve fuel security and support green jobs. It is expected to create a UK industry with an annual turnover of £2.3 billion by 2040, also creating up to 5,200 jobs by 2035.

 

Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye has hit out the government’s lack of support for the aviation industry during the Coronavirus pandemic, which he believes has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Speaking at the West London Blue Skies Conference – reimagining our global hub – John Holland-Kaye criticised the government’s ‘lack of economic focus’ which he said was harming the UK’s long-term trade position.

“I have avoided criticising the government during recent months because it is a difficult time but the lack of focus on the economy and on the key element of trade, such as opening up airports, is impacting on jobs,” he said. “It is tragic to see hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost in UK, many of which could have been saved.”

John Holland-Kaye said the government was treating aviation as an individual sector, rather than seeing it as an enabler of all economic sectors because of the role it plays in trade.

He told the conference that the airport’s passenger flights usually carry goods around the world –delivering around 40% of the UK’s inbound and outbound supply chain – and while they were effectively shut down, the UK economy is at a standstill. He said it was important that testing at airports was introduced as quickly as possible to help kickstart the economy.

“I don’t want to see a single person lose their job if there is something I can do to help. We have to fight for our place in the world,  fight for every job in the area,  and this is a wake-up call for all of us to build a stronger West London and Thames Valley.”

John Holland-Kaye compared the lack of support for the aviation industry in the UK with the support other airports and airlines had received in the US, France and Germany, saying it was behind even Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s in the support it had received in the UK.

“One of things that frustrates me most is that although aviation has been affected very severely, there has been almost no help with business rates, unlike Tesco and Sainsbury’s who have been let off rates. As a consequence we are really having to tighten belts hard. We are applying for relief, but  it will come out of Hillingdon Council’s annual budget and is that’s not fair – it doesn’t  happen like that for Sainsbury’s’ and Tesco’s, but because of the way the government has done it, it will impact on local communities which is the last thing anyone wants.”

John Holland-Kaye also pleaded for expansion as a route out of the pandemic and into growth, saying the importance of having a big international aviation hub was critical for the UK’s future.

“Expansion is critical for UK in any event – we, need to compete with France and Germany and we need to chart a path for the UK which will see us as having a confident path to remain a global trading nation for generations to come,” he said.

“The airport opens up the entire world to all of the UK but the world is changing, and we are very poorly served in comparison to India, China and the US. Unless we develop long haul to those countries we will be increasingly marginalised. We will be flying through Paris to get to global markets.”

Speaking in an interview with BBC journalist Christian Fraser, John Holland-Kaye said the UK had an opportunity to be a leader in sustainable aviation.

“We were the first country to commit to net zero, and I am excited by COP26. We have been building a coalition of the the willing internationally among airlines, airports and oil companies and pretty much all the airports are signed up and committed to net zero by 2050. This is something I could not have imagined just 18 months ago and we are trying to get a global agreement on decarbonisation by COP26.

“We need a lead that other people can buy into and that is where the plan to move to sustainable aviation fuels is viable because it can be delivered by 2050. It wasn’t being focused on two years ago but it is already built into UK plans and we have investors coming in, wanting to put money into sustainable fuel. The future is coming fast and now is the time to push”.

John Holland-Kaye also said he was passionate about supporting the area’s skills agenda.

“We are very focused on the local community and how we can replace some of the jobs that have been lost through the devastation that covid-19 has caused the aviation sector and how we can work together to rebuild communities,” he said.

“I am very conscious as the biggest single local employer, we have responsibilities to local communities. It is a complex relationship – Heathrow is a catalyst  for people coming to live here because of the great jobs, great communities ,opportunities for schools, but there are areas where that is the case and areas where it is not and that is what I want to work on,I  want to make the area around Heathrow one best places to live and work in the UK.”

He asked for more flexibility around apprenticeships so the airport could support more people into career paths and supported the idea of an Aviation Tech Park and/or a Green Innovation Zone.

On Friday 20th November, over 250 business leaders, local authorities, academics and politicians are meeting at the West London Business Blue Skies conference Reimagining our global hub to debate the future of aviation and transportation as part of a response to the economic impact that COVID-19 has had on the aviation sector.

Ambitious and far-sighted plans, reimagining the Heathrow area as a global hub for innovation and a green economy powerhouse, will be discussed at the event which will bring together local, national and global leaders to discuss their vision to reinvigorate the economy, drive sustainable green growth and create new jobs.

The event has been brought together by Seema Malhotra MP, Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston and Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business who have co-chaired the Conference Steering Committee as part of efforts to see a recovery plan for aviation communities across the UK and the world.

Heathrow Airport is the UK’s largest port by value – and one of the busiest airports in the world, connecting London – a global city at the forefront of finance, technological and industrial innovation – to more than 180 destinations across the world. The conference will mark the beginning of ambitious plans to stimulate new job opportunities in West London.

Speakers include Aviation Minister Robert Courts MP,  Katy Racina (CBI), Professor Julia Buckingham CBE (VC, Brunel University and President of Universities UK), Lord David Blunkett, Sheldon Hee of Singapore Airlines,  John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Airport CEO, Diana Holland (Assistant General Secretary, UNITE), Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Paul Everitt, CEO, ADS Group, Professor Michael Kleeman from UC San Diego and Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of London Assembly Economy Committee.

The inaugural Blue Skies Conference 2020, Reimagining our Global Hub, takes place between 2pm and 6pm on Friday 20 November. This is a free-to-attend conference. Book your place here.

Seema Malhotra MP who will be opening the conference said: “This conference comes at a critical time for the UK.

“We have seen many people furloughed or made redundant as a result of COVID-19 and witnessed the devastating impact it has had on Heathrow, the surrounding area and the sectors that support the aviation industry.

“On 20 November, we will look to a brighter future. With global leaders in the aviation world joining local leaders, we will begin to draw up an ambitious and far sighted blueprint for the future of aviation. This is about individuals, our community and our shared future.”

Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business, said: “This conference will be the start of something really special for an area, sector and community so badly devastated by the pandemic – a longer term plan for how we bring our businesses and supply chains together for new thinking about how we grow our economy sustainably for future generations”.

“I would urge people to get involved in the day and play a part in developing a brighter future and see our global hub change the world.”

For more information on the conference agenda or to register for your free place, visit www.londonwestinnovation.global

Uxbridge College’s Michelle Bradley is celebrating after winning two awards in the London Teacher of the Year Awards 2020 for her work with staff, students and employer partners including British Airways.

Travel & Tourism lecturer and Section Manager Michelle scooped the awards after being nominated by colleagues at college and by British Airways – she works with the company to provide training, work experience and employment opportunities.

She not only won FE College Academic Support Staff of the Year Award, but London FE Member of Staff of the Year Award, in recognition of her contribution to excellent attendance rates, learner engagement and success rates, as well as to building strong employer links.

She works with British Airways to organise guest speakers, as well as arranging three visits a year to their training centre at Heathrow, where students receive additional Cabin Crew training. She helps ensure the company hosts a stand each at the College’s annual careers fair, and has also taken part in their ‘train a teacher’ days where staff undertake work experience.

Michelle was a winner in the awards run by the KM Charity Team, part of Inspire Schools Educational Foundation, in which the top 25 teachers were selected from nominations from schools and colleges across London.

As the awards ceremony originally planned for the summer could not take place due to Coronavirus, Michelle received her trophies in the post and attended a virtual ceremony.

Michelle, who is also Section Manager Travel & Tourism at Uxbridge College, based in West London, said: “I was so shocked to have been nominated, let alone to have won two awards in the London Teacher of the Year Awards 2020! But it is a great honour, and I am incredibly happy to have this recognition of the work that I do. I put everything into what I do and get huge satisfaction out of seeing the Travel and Tourism professionals of the future progress on their journeys into industry – so getting an award as well really is the icing on the cake.”

Michelle previously worked as Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic, did a degree in Travel and Tourism management and worked as a Travel Agent in Thomas Cook. She played a leading role in setting up Cabin Crew training courses at the college, sourcing and designing the mock aircraft cabin on the college site in Uxbridge.

Inspire Schools Educational Foundation is a registered charity trading as KM Charity Team and Inspire Schools that delivers literacy, road safety and walk-to-school initiatives to support schools, families and children, as well as supporting the charitable sector by staging collaborative fundraising events.

A thousand jobseekers previously employed in the aviation industry at Heathrow airport will be supported to transfer their skills into the screen industries.

The programme run by ScreenSkills in partnership with Pinewood Studios and Buckinghamshire and Enterprise M3 LEPs (local enterprise partnerships) will see participants offered information on how their expertise in aviation and its supply chain can be used in film, television and games.

Local Jobcentre Plus staff and Heathrow employers will identify 1,000 individuals to participate in an online introduction to the screen industries and receive support to identify their transferable skills. Those interested in pursuing a new career in screen will then apply for a series of online training events. All candidates will benefit from online training and 25 will also get work shadowing placements at Pinewood Studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire.

The Skills to Screen: Aviation programme will be funded by the Department for Work and Pensions following a £150million boost to the Flexible Support Fund as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said: “This is a rare opportunity to join a world leading sector that has vacancies to fill in roles traditionally associated with Hollywood, and we are encouraging those who are interested to get in touch with their local jobcentre.

“Keeping people connected to the jobs market and transferring their skills is a key priority as we build back better – so it’s great to see our jobcentres working with local organisations to help jobseekers switch sectors.”

The training and placements will be tailored to the skills of those who come forward, including those from retail, digital and administrative roles as well as aviation staff.

Previous Skills to Screen events run by ScreenSkills have identified people with expertise in areas such as accounts, digital and logistics as well as craft and technical skills such as carpentry and construction.

Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO, said: “Transferable skills from aviation and the supply chain at Heathrow in areas including logistics, accounts and office roles could play an important role in addressing the needs of UK’s world-famous film, TV and games industries. Despite the immediate challenges of Covid, the screen sector has skills shortages so there are jobs to be filled to meet strong consumer demand.”

Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Corporate Affairs Director at Pinewood Studios, said: “We are delighted to be backing this exciting initiative to support those affected by local job losses in the aviation sector. This new initiative will provide the opportunity to support many of those highly skilled workers to transfer their skills to our world-class screen industries based at Pinewood Studios and across this rapidly growing sector of the economy here in Buckinghamshire.”

Dave Axam, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP said: “The Enterprise M3 area proudly boasts a thriving creative industry sector, from Shepperton Studios in Spelthorne, Longcross Studios in Runneymede, to the internationally renowned games cluster in Guildford and the highly successful Story Futures project within the immersive technology sector at Royal Holloway University.

“This is a great project which will identify transferable skills and provide people with the opportunity to potentially gain experience within a very exciting industry. The EM3 Recovery and Renewal Action Plan has identified this type of project as an important stepping stone for people who have been affected by the impact of Covid-19 and are looking for a new career.”

Please note all applicants have to be referred through their local Jobseeker Plus or their Heathrow employer.