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Published: 18th November 2022

Autumn Statement – Skills highlights

The skills highlights from the Autumn Statement given on 17 November 2022.
  • Appointment of Adviser on Skills Reform – The government recognises that skills are crucial in driving long-term economic growth and is taking forward major reforms set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper: delivering T Levels, approving Higher Technical Qualifications, rolling out skills bootcamps, and introducing the Lifelong Learning Entitlement from 2025. To help maximise the impact of these commitments, Sir Michael Barber has been appointed to advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Education on the implementation of current reforms.
  • Funding for Catapult Network – The government is now confirming that funding for the UK’s 9 Catapults will increase by 35% compared to the last five-year funding cycle. This £1.6 billion investment will allow Catapults to continue supporting innovation and de-risking the transition from research to commercial delivery by providing access to world-leading facilities, expertise, skills, and equipment; accelerating innovation clusters and stimulating additional private sector investment in R&D across the UK, including for the Compound Semiconductor Catapult in Wales, the Digital Catapult centre in Northern Ireland and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult centre in Scotland.
  • Regulatory Reform for Growth – The government will review retained EU law to identify changes that can be made over the next year with the greatest potential to unlock growth in key growth industries – digital technology, life sciences, green industries, financial services, and advanced manufacturing. The government will also task the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and National Technology Officer (Sir Patrick Vallance) to lead work to consider how the UK can better regulate emerging technologies, enabling their rapid and safe introduction.
  • Sizewell C approval – The Sizewell C nuclear plant will go ahead, with the EDF contract to be signed at the end of the month, providing reliable, low-carbon power to the equivalent of 6 million homes for over 50 years.
  • Made Smarter – The government will help more small and medium sized manufacturing firms boost their productivity through advanced digital technology by extending the Made Smarter Adoption programme to the East Midlands. This follows the positive feedback the Made Smarter Adoption programme has already received in the North East, West Midlands, North West, Yorkshire & the Humber.
  • Core Schools Budget Uplift – The government has decided to increase the core schools budget by £2.3 billion in 2023-24 and a further £2.3 billion in 2024-25. After adjusting Spending Review 2021 budgets down to account for the removal of the compensation for employer costs of the Health and Social Care Levy, this brings the core schools budget to a total of £58.8 billion in 2024-25, £2 billion greater than published at Spending Review 2021.
  • New devolution deals – The government has agreed new mayoral devolution deals with Suffolk County Council, and will shortly be agreeing an mayoral deal with Cornwall Council and an expanded mayoral deal with local authorities in the North East of England. Good progress is also being made towards signing a deal with Norfolk County Council. Once agreed, these deals, taken together, will increase the proportion of people living under a directly elected mayor with devolved powers in England to over 50%.
  • Trailblazer devolution deals – The government will deliver the Levelling Up White Paper commitment to sign new ‘trailblazer’ devolution deals with Greater Manchester and the West Midlands Combined Authorities by early 2023. The government is in discussion with the Mayors of these areas to devolve powers to deliver levelling up in areas such as skills, transport and housing, including through consolidating funding. These ‘trailblazer’ deals will act as a blueprint for other areas to follow.
  • Energy Efficiency Taskforce (EETF) – The government is announcing a new long-term commitment to drive improvements in energy efficiency to bring down bills for households, businesses and the public sector with an ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 against 2021 levels. New government funding worth £6 billion will be made available from 2025 to 2028, in addition to the £6.6 billion provided in this Parliament. To achieve this target, a new EETF will be charged with delivering energy efficiency across the economy.

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