News

30th March 2011

Cogent Sector Skills Council response to the 2011 Budget

The Budget has launched the Government’s “Plan for Growth”, a package of measures aimed at supporting private sector investment, enterprise and innovation.

Cogent, the national skills council for the science-based industries is delighted to see this includes confirmation of measures to ensure educators provide the skilled individuals the fast emerging bioscience sector needs to flourish.

The Government has said, “In the life sciences sector, the Government will work to improve market signalling by bringing companies and educators together, through Cogent, the Sector Skills Council, to ensure that educators provide the skilled individuals the sector needs to grow.”

A range of associated measures will also bring momentum to Cogent’s work to ensure the existing workforce across the science-based industries is highly skilled, as well as to bring in new talent.
 

Key budget extracts on skills and Cogent responses


1. Healthcare and Life Sciences:
even though there are large numbers of biological science graduates…61 life sciences employers are reliant on workers from overseas, with a third of the sector’s workforce sourced from abroad.

To ensure educators provide the skilled individuals the sector needs to grow, the Government will, through Cogent, improve market signalling by bringing companies and educators together. This action will form part of a package of measures Cogent will present to Government, by spring 2011, to ensure biology training at all levels meets employer needs.


Cogent response:
Cogent is working with the Office of Life Sciences, and through its employer-led Life Sciences Advisory Council, led by industry champion, Nigel Brooksby, to develop a plan that will see solutions to the problems employers and universities have identified. This is building on the excellent work of key partners.

Their partner, The National Skills Academy Process Industries has recently been extended to cover biotechnology, and will deliver training to the sector through a network of Academy Accredited Training Providers. Over three years this is expected to grow to around 20 of the highest quality training providers in the UK.

In parallel, Cogent is developing a number of clear pathways to meet employer demand for highly skilled technicians in the bioscience sector.

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