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Published: 7th March 2024

Budget 2024

We are very pleased the Chancellor announced a significant funding package for research and development and manufacturing projects across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors.
House of Commons

As part of this announcement, the Chancellor set out further details of the £50 million Apprenticeships Growth Pilot, which includes significant investments in life science skills.

The Growth Pilot (worth £25 million in 2024/25 and 2025/26) was first announced in last November’s Autumn Statement. It will pilot new ways to stimulate the supply of apprenticeships in growth sectors.

Through the pilot, eligible providers will be supported with an additional payment of £3,000 per start for delivery of 13 key in-demand standards in three growth sectors: advanced manufacturing and engineering; green; and life sciences. The relevant standards include: 

  • Electrical Power Networks Engineer 
  • Machining Technician 
  • Pipe Welder 
  • Plate Welder 
  • Process Leader 
  • Nuclear Technician 
  • Water Environment Worker 
  • Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner 
  • Construction Design and Build Technician 
  • Construction Support Technician 
  • Surveying Technician 
  • Science Manufacturing Technician 
  • Laboratory Technician 

These standards have been selected based on stakeholder feedback, evidence of skills shortages and information about where there are currently moderate number of starts (which indicates there is a case to stimulate growth but also a reasonable base from which to increase the number of starts). The Department for Education will keep this initial selection under review and might add or remove standards as the pilot continues. 

Funding will be available to incentivise providers to grow training capacity, allowing them to overcome barriers to capital investment which stakeholders told us can be higher in the sectors central to this pilot. The funding will allow providers to invest in equipment, machinery and capital requirements beyond what current funding rules allow. 

Providers will access the funding once they deliver 15 starts, meaning a minimum payment of £45,000 to providers who meet this threshold. Providers will need to demonstrate a history of delivering standards in the relevant sectors. Employer providers will not be eligible. 

To read the government’s press release on the budget, click here.

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