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Published: 23rd November 2023

Autumn Statement 2023 summary

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered his Autumn Statement this week. Below is a summary of the key announcements concerning our sectors.
House of Commons


Commitment of £50 million for a two-year pilot to increase apprenticeship starts in engineering and other key growth sectors, and address barriers to entry in high-value standards.

Increasing the minimum hourly wage for apprentices by 21 per cent – from £5.28 to £6.40 – from April 2024.

Life Sciences

New investment of £520 million from 2025-26 to support transformational manufacturing investments in life sciences research and development.

Investment of £10 million – with an additional £10 million from Scottish Enterprise – in a Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Oligonucleotides.

A grant of £5 million seed funding to help launch the Fleming Centre, a collaboration led by Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to support the next generation of health innovations (marking the 2028 centenary of the discovery of penicillin).

A further £51 million funding for the Our Future Health (OFH) programme to genotype their first million participants and to recruit hundreds of thousands of new volunteers, supporting the development of better ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases.

Genomics England, along with a consortium of partners, is announcing the launch of a world first Rare Therapies Launch Pad, generating evidence on whether a pathway for new individualised therapeutics could be implemented in the UK for children with ultra-rare disease.

An in-principle agreement with the pharmaceutical industry on the 2024 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing, Access, and Growth, which is expected to deliver around £14 billion in savings to the NHS across the next five years, as well as supporting rapid patient access to new clinically and cost-effective medicines.

A £400 million fund established by industry to support investment in the UK life sciences ecosystem, including improved clinical trial capacity.


Funding of £4.5bn to stimulate private investment in strategic manufacturing sectors, including automotive (£2bn), aerospace (£975m), life sciences (£520m) and green energy (£960m), for five years from 2025-26.

The plan includes a £960 million Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA) to support investments in manufacturing capabilities for the clean energy sectors, including carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, offshore wind, electricity networks and nuclear.

The government will shortly set out further plans to support investment and growth in the manufacturing sector by publishing the Advanced Manufacturing Plan and UK Battery Strategy.

Digital technology and AI

The government is investing £500 million in UK-based AI development so that universities, scientists and start-ups with the aim of helping make the UK an AI powerhouse.

It will also launch the first AI Safety Institute, backed by an initial £100 million investment, and is developing its wider regulatory approach: it will publish its response to the AI white paper by the end of the year and will launch a pilot AI Regulatory Sandbox in the spring.

Finally, later this year government will launch the Manchester Prize, which will award prizes of up to £1 million to researchers working on the safe, responsible application of AI over the next 10 years.

To read the full statement, click here.

Future Ready

Cogent Skills is sector based, working with companies from across the Science and Technology Industries embracing Life Sciences, Industrial Sciences and Nuclear.
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