“In light of the current challenging labour market conditions – which include low levels of unemployment – we welcome any move to increase access to skills and encourage people back to work.
“However, this is only part of the solution and it is disappointing that the overall funding mechanism for apprenticeships has not been addressed – despite employers across different sectors calling for reforms to the Apprenticeships Levy. We believe this is a missed opportunity and hope the government returns to this issue and gives strong consideration to the suggestions for change which have been laid out by industry.
“The budget included a number of measures designed to support the UK’s drive towards net zero. The skills needs for the science and technology sectors are a crucial component in this, as they are in delivering the future prosperity of the country as we emerge from a challenging period of economic instability. In particular, emerging and green technologies should be given specific support – the government should work with industry to map out the skills needs in these areas before laying out how it will help them meet them.
“Indeed, we also welcome government’s support for nuclear energy playing a greater role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, through the creation of Great British Nuclear and the reclassification of nuclear in order to increase investment. We stand ready to help by identifying the skills needs of this increasingly important industry.
“The budget identified areas of optimism in the UK economy over the next two to three years. We believe government should seize this moment to build on its existing work to help create a skills system which meets the needs of the science and technology sectors in the decades to come.”