England’s West Midlands welcomes creation of 1,000 new tech jobs

LONDON (Reuters) – The West Midlands, England’s second biggest metropolitan area, is set to be boosted by the creation of 1,000 new tech sector jobs, the local economic development agency said on Wednesday.

The West Midlands Growth Company, which covers an area containing England’s second city Birmingham, said the jobs would be created by the expansion of five tech firms, ranging from wireless communications to electric vehicle charging.

“These tremendous investments reinforce our region’s status as a destination of choice for ambitious companies across a wide range of sectors,” Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said in a statement.

The boost for the region comes two weeks after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decided not to proceed with a high speed rail link between Birmingham and Manchester.

Street had been heavily critical of that decision, saying it would damage Britain’s “international reputation as a place to invest.”

On Wednesday he said the investments by the five companies were a “vote of confidence in us.”

IT services firm Version 1 will create around 500 jobs, as part of its plans to open a new technology hub in Birmingham next year, while wireless communications company Novocomms Group plans 300 new jobs in the city over the next three years.

(This story has been refiled to fix the typo in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by William James)