UK Government & Pharma Invest £52 Million to Improve UK Science Skills

David Willetts, the UK’s Science Minister, yesterday announced an investment of £52 million for the UK’s science sectors to improve skills and vocational training.

The announcement was made at the official launch of the Science and Industrial Partnership (SIP), which is being led by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The announcement is expected to create over ‘7,800 education and skills opportunities over a 2 year period.’

The investment aims to deliver 1,360 apprenticeships, 240 traineeships, 150 industry degrees, 230 master degree modules and 5,900 ‘workforce development’ opportunities within the UK life sciences sector.

Willetts commented that “The science based industries are critical to our future prosperity – and higher skills are the key driver of their competitiveness. Our investment will help the industry to take the lead investing in the skills they need.”

The UK government will be contributing £32.6 million to the fund, with £20 million from employers, together with £31 million in-kind contributions.

Alongside GlaxoSmithKline, a number of other pharmaceutical companies are also involved in the SIP partnership, including Amgen, Eisai, Novartis, AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Takeda.

GlaxoSmithKline’s Malcolm Skingle, noted that the life sciences sector in the UK “continues to evolve at a rapid rate and so it is essential that the next generation of scientists have the skills that both they and business require to be successful in the future”.

As Europe’s leading independent pharmaceutical recruitment company, The Clinical Professionals Group welcomes the news of greater investment in the UK life science sectors.  Along with the launch of MedCity earlier this year, the latest news of investment will allow the UK to continue to competitively compete in the global pharmaceutical industry.

The ABPI have also welcomed the announcement of investment to improve science skills in the UK, with Chief Executive, Stephen Whitehead, adding that “the government has been a real champion for science but if the UK economy, especially the research based pharmaceutical industry, is going to flourish then we need to work more intensively with government in partnerships such as this to equip the next generation with the skills to succeed.”


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