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Billions in foreign investment fosters job growth in UK tech

Written by Thu 29 Jun 2023

Tens of thousands of new jobs in the UK will be created as a result of significant foreign investment, according to new government data.

The Department of Business and Trade’s Inward Investment Results for 2022-2023 revealed that more than 1,600 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects are set to generate approximately 80,000 jobs in various regions of the UK. Regions like Scotland, Wales, Northern England, the Midlands, and the South West are expected to see considerable gains.

The UK sees investment boom and employment increase

The wave of investment has proven particularly beneficial for Northern England. Yorkshire and The Humber securing 103 FDI projects, which will yield 7,378 new job opportunities. This marks a significant increase of 97% compared to the previous year and 423% compared to 2020/21.

The North West and North East will also see 8,867 jobs created from 198 new projects. In the past three years, a total of 604 FDI projects have been established in these regions, resulting in the creation of 25,872 new job positions.

A similar trend can be observed in the Midlands, where 265 FDI projects were landed in 2022/23, which are slated to create 11,091 jobs. In Wales, 47 projects will offer 3,062 job opportunities, marking a growth of 71% from the previous year.

Northern Ireland benefited from 33 new FDI projects, resulting in the creation of 1,416 new jobs.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “It is great for the local economy that more overseas companies are investing in projects here, creating thousands of jobs.”

Scotland has also seen a substantial uptick in FDI projects. In the past year, 130 new FDI projects were initiated, leading to the creation of 3,428 new jobs.

In a statement, Minister for Investment, Lord Johnson, said: “These statistics reflect the sentiment I hear from foreign investors every day [that] the UK is a great place to invest and a fantastic springboard to start and grow a successful business. Today’s figures confirm investors are looking beyond London and the South East as they search for high growth opportunities with highly skilled workforces.”

Increasing confidence in UK’s key sectors

Reports by PwC and EY also suggest that investor confidence in the UK’s key sectors is growing.

“These investments are also supporting our strongest industries and creating the jobs of the future, from aerospace and car manufacturing to financial services and tech,” added Lord Johnson.

According to the new statistics, software and computer services saw the most FDI projects and new jobs between 2022 and 2023, followed by financial services; environment, infrastructure and transportation; and advanced engineering and supply chain.

Key sectors like automotive and aerospace have also seen a considerable increase in new FDI projects and jobs, while Net Zero-related projects are expected to play a significant role in job creation across multiple regions.

Meanwhile, the life sciences sector will see 3,546 new job positions from the latest FDI projects, and the biotech and pharmaceutical industries are set to welcome 2,089 new employees. Over the past three years, these sectors will have seen 15,608 new jobs generated from FDI projects.

The United States delivered the most FDI projects in 2022 and 2023, with India and Germany taking second and third place respectively.

Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Economy and Business said: “It is particularly gratifying to see the United States, where many of those efforts have been focused, so well represented among investors demonstrating their belief in – and excitement about – what we have to offer.

This vote of confidence in globally uncertain times underlines the strength and diversity of our economy. They could be choosing to invest anywhere – they are choosing here.”

The UK Government believes these statistics mark a step in the right direction toward making the country a tech and science superpower by 2030.

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Written by Thu 29 Jun 2023

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