13 Jul 2020
The Summer Statement announced by the Chancellor on the 8th July was a follow-up to his first Budget on 11th March. It was a budget to boost the economy and to create new opportunities to drive growth through and beyond the effects of COVID 19.
His focus was on protecting jobs and supporting people back into employment. Making an investment in homegrown future skills and ensuring that UK industry has the skills needed in the workforce to remain resilient in the event of a future pandemic.
The Chancellor said: "Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country.’
Supporting people to improve their skills is a vital part of the government’s aim to level up opportunity across the country. Increasing productivity depends on improving the skills levels of this generation and the next. Achieving this will require vocational and technical education that genuinely responds to the needs of business and the country as a whole. The government will confirm its plans on skills at the Spending Review. But the first steps come now. Apprenticeships, Traineeships and the new Kickstart programme should be at the forefront of providing all learners with the opportunity and tools to progress into skilled employment.
Welcoming the Statement, Malcolm Skingle, Chair of the Science Industry Partnership said:
"Our industry provides high quality, well paid jobs and increasingly many of these jobs are filled by new entrants coming through the apprenticeship route as well as directly from University. With the immediate focus of many life sciences businesses being on Covid-19 vaccine development our industry is currently extremely dynamic. Whilst some sectors may value the immediate financial incentive to support apprenticeship recruitment in life sciences we see it as a longer term investment and with the growth in our industry we anticipate increasing numbers. A stable apprenticeship landscape will be vital for this including continued access to our high-quality science industry standards.
We particularly welcome the importance placed on careers advisors in the Chancellor’s speech, and we feel they have a vital role to play in signposting to our industry. The SIP Life Sciences Skills Strategy 2030 sets out the importance of high quality careers education and the SIP has a network of over 650 trained and motivated Science Skills Ambassadors available to support careers advisors and we look forward to working with government to raise the profile of science industries.
We will also look at the government’s new Kickstart scheme to understand more the extent to which this route can support new talent entering the industry and particularly whether it can support our endeavours to increase social mobility across the science sector."
The SIP is the Skills leadership voice for the Science Industries.