The Government is to announce a £52m boost for the science sector to help develop new talent. The investment is set to create over 7,800 education and skills positions over the space of two years.

David Willetts, the UK’s science minister, is speaking at the Science Industrial Partnership (SIP) where he will make the announcement. The SIP is a grouping of 100 of the top employers within the science industry.

The money has been allocated thanks to the SIP, who successfully put in a bid to the Government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot fund (EOP). GlaxoSmithKline will play a leading a role and work to design skills and training programmes. There is hopes this will enable the life sciences, chemicals and industrials science sectors to better compete in the world economy.

The £52m is a split investment, with the Government putting forward £32.6m and £20m coming from employers. Out of this there will be the creation of new apprenticeships, traineeships, industry degrees, modular masters degrees,workforce development opportunities and a push to encourage young people into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs.

This news comes as a CBI report back in March said that the UK was facing a critical shortage of STEM workers that threatened the country’s economy. It seems the Government has listened to CBI’s call for more investment to encourage new people to seek STEM careers.

David Willetts said: “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.

Image by Jeff Keyzer.