News story: National Apprenticeship Week 2016 rises to the top

Even more young people will be able to ‘rise to the top’ with an apprenticeship, as 30,084 new apprenticeships have been pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2016 (14 to 18 March).

From Greene King committing to hiring 10,000 apprentices (up from 2,000 in 2015), Microsoft and partners announcing plans to recruit 4,500, BT pledging 1,000, Deloitte 200 and Kwik Fit 150, pledges have been made by hundreds of businesses around the country. Other companies that have pledged new apprenticeships include BMW, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Fortnum & Mason, Virgin Media, British Airways, Prezzo, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Traineeships, which give young people the work preparation training, English, maths and work experience needed to get an apprenticeship or other job, also got a boost during the week with employers large and small, including Halfords Ltd and Chelmsford JCP pledging 1,770 traineeship positions.

During National Apprenticeship Week 2015, employers pledged to recruit 23,000 apprentices.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

This week I’ve travelled the country meeting apprentices doing the most incredible jobs, from cooking mussels at Rick Stein’s restaurant to fixing helicopters for the Royal Navy.

Apprenticeships offer working people the jobs and training they need to build a great career. An apprenticeship really can take you anywhere.

Employers have pledged more than 30,000 new apprenticeships this week. That means more than 30,000 more life changing opportunities for working people.

National Apprenticeship Week, which is led and co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, saw hundreds of events and activities take place across England. A huge range of organisations and individuals, including employers, apprentices, business support and sector organisations, learning providers, colleges and schools, supported the week by hosting activities.

Key events during the week included a launch event at the Shard in London where businesses in attendance pledged to recruit over 19,000 apprentices. The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid met employers and apprentices and spoke about the future of apprenticeships. The Licence to Skill event at the London Film Museum, attended by the influential figures from the world of technology, digital and the creative industries, focused on the benefits that apprentices can bring to these sectors.

Now in its ninth year, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The overarching theme for 2016 was to show how individuals and businesses can achieve their ambitions of ‘rising to the top’ through apprenticeships.

Jade Aspinall, Higher Apprentice of the Year, MBDA, said:

As an apprentice I am able to earn whilst I learn, gaining degree level qualifications whilst acquiring practical experience at the same time. I believe in learning through experience and my apprenticeship allowed me to do that.

I’m very ambitious about my future. I started university in September, studying a B.Eng in Computer Aided Engineering. I cannot have enough passion and enthusiasm for apprenticeships. Without mine, I wouldn’t be the confident, mature, challenge-driven individual I am today: greatest decision of my life. Since starting my apprenticeship my confidence has increased significantly.

The National Apprenticeship Awards 2016 application site was also opened during the week, and the search is now on to find the country’s next cohort of top apprentices and apprenticeship employers. The awards, run by the National Apprenticeship Service, celebrate exceptional employers and apprentices who have apprenticeships at the heart of their business or have used an apprenticeship to develop their career.

Individuals and businesses who apply to the awards compete to be named ‘the best of the best’ on a regional and national level. For the sixth year running the very best employer category entries will also have the additional bonus of featuring in the annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.

There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship. Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Follow @Apprenticeships, @TraineeshipsGov and #NAW2016 for all the latest news, pictures and videos.

To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week 2016, go to

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Speech: Life sciences and health technology in the 21st century NHS

Well Xavier, thank you for that very kind welcome and for pulling this event together. When we first spoke 18 months ago and you expressed a strong interest in helping to bring on this sector and to bring the public markets to the very exciting development that’s been happening in the private markets in the UK, I didn’t foresee how quickly it would have an impact on the sector and I’m going to say something in a minute about the extraordinary successes of 2015. I’m not complacent for a minute but this country is traditionally not very good at celebrating success so I think today is a moment to look back at some of the highlights of last year and some of the extraordinary things coming. I wanted to thank you and your team for the work that you’re doing hosting this conference, the second, I hope it becomes an annual fixture and the work that you’re doing on the ELITE programme to prepare some of the most exciting companies to come to market.

Can I just also thank the companies and the investors that are here – your time, your commitment to meet the companies and to take part in this is an important signal of this sectors commitment to itself and to leadership and it’s hugely important, this event, and the issues and themes that come out of it. I can assure you that last year there were several policy points that came from this event that we’ve picked up at No.10 and we’ve fed through both into the manifesto and some of my policy making.

I wanted to say something this morning about the government’s commitment to this sector and to the strategy and to share with you some thoughts about where we go next, to announce some very exciting latest figures and data on what’s going on in the sector and to share with you some thoughts on where it and we go next in the next few years. Let me start by saying that it’s an incredible pleasure and privilege to be back as the UKs first Minister for Life Sciences. A year ago we were looking down the barrels of a quinquennial democratic accountability moment and I was perfectly prepared to be the last Minister for Life Sciences. I would say that I have tried to pursue this agenda in a very non-partisan way, not least for this for this sector’s benefit. It needs cross-party support and it needs a 10 to 15 year policy horizon and I’m delighted at the level of support we’ve had from all parties in support of what we are doing.

I would just say this, it turns out there is a global conference of life sciences ministers this year, I’ve joked in the past that it would have been a very small event with me chairing it, opening it giving the plenary, the lunchtime warm up act and taking the minutes. It turns out that other countries are rallying and I’m very much looking forward to attending the world’s first conference for life science ministers. It is a tribute to this country’s expertise and the recognition of our leadership on science, but also on finance and policy as well.

In an extraordinary year one of the highlights for me was being invited to the White House to brief the Obama team on what we’re doing on genomics and on informatics and on precision medicine and on digitalisation and on unlocking the NHS as a research engine. Any of you who’ve been to the West Wing will imagine my disappointment, I arrived expecting to find CJ and the sofa and the bustle of a very small family of high power. The West Wing, it turns out, is a building that makes our Ministry of Defence look like a drawing room, it’s a vast concrete building of about 20 storeys with flags on every corridor. And when we left the meeting and I said “where’s the West Wing? When do we have the brush by with CJ?” they said “Minister, this is the West Wing” and brought me to the door and down the stairs was the White House like a little toy house, it’s tiny, and they said “Minister, the West Wing is the administrative wing of the President, the West Wing you think of is our drawing room”. But interestingly President Obama, that Sunday in his State of the Union speech, announced a very ambitious programme, matching our commitment here in precision medicine, in genomics, in informatics and that I think is an important reassurance to this sector and I’m working with cross party Congress and the Senate and White House policy chiefs on accelerated access and regulation so that we build a transatlantic and integrated regulatory pathway so that companies can have confidence we’re building something that works for them and for you.

So let me just say something about the commitment and why it’s so strong, it isn’t just that this country is brilliant at biomedical research and deep science and that we need the financing activity and the growth, all of which is true and that we’re good at it and some of the most exciting companies, that in the last decade have raised a lot of money in the US, were incubated here. In the genomics programme it’s very striking to me that Illumina, our technology partner sequencing 100,000 NHS genomes, is using technology developed in Cambridge, by a Cambridge spin-out that was acquired by an American company and we’re now paying for it back, proudly I’m delighted we are it’s Cambridge technology, but boy would I like it if the company was able to raise money here and it was a UK company all the way through and that is part of our challenge to make sure that we keep these great technologies and build them here.

Our strategy at the beginning was more than that, it was how we embrace innovation and make our NHS not a late, reluctant procurer of ever more expensive innovation but a partner in the development of that innovation and how can we drive an integrated healthcare innovation economy.

So we’re not just supporting the life sciences traditional bio-pharma from the Department of Business, but now we have a joined up strategy and at the Department of Health I’m responsible for the £14 billion drugs budget, for the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), for genomics, for the £1 billion a year National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) infrastructure in the NHS and now for all the data and digital policy making so we can drive a proper, integrated healthcare economy and we can unleash the power of the NHS to support 21st century research with genomics and informatics and quicker access to trials and to pull it through more quickly and the strap line is: we are absolutely determined that health and the NHS won’t break this country, it will make this country. We want to lead in the technologies for the transformation of our own system and export them around the world and it’s a model of growth that insists that the public sector has a duty to work with the private sector to support innovation and frankly needs that innovation to be a modern public service, it’s a different mind-set at the Department of Health but we’ve embedded it and locked it in not just through the minister but through the creation of a major directorate in DH called ‘Innovation, Technology and Growth’, not 3 words traditionally associated with the Department of Health over the last 50 years, despite the NHS’s extraordinary ability to innovate. I want you to understand that the commitment comes from the PM and the Chancellor and is hardwired right into the heart of government and at the next quinquennial democratic moment any incoming administration will discover an absolute commitment, its goes right to the heart of the UK government’s sense of strategic priorities over the next decade.

And we announced, you’ll remember, when we set out this strategy that as well as a commitment to the whole landscape, from deep science through translation infrastructure, business environment, NHS accessibility and reform of the pathway for innovation, we would also try and lead in 2 keys areas: in genomics and informatics. And in genomics, we set the world alight with the announcement that we’d be the first nation on Earth to sequence 100,000 entire genomes and put it together with all the phenotypic clinical hospital data. We set a company up to do it, Genomics England, and I’m delighted that the pace at which we’ve managed, after a little bit of wheel spinning in the first 6 months – it’s a big project, we are now recognised globally as setting the pace in genomics and some of the companies you see downstairs are working off and feeding off that leadership, headquartered at Sanger but we’ve launched 12 Genomic Medicine Centres around the UK NHS and we’ve built the NHS into this from day one. We are determined to lead the world in the launch of genomic medicines, mainstreamed in the NHS. This won’t be an innovation that we invented here and then was slow to procure, this will be an innovation, a whole revolution in healthcare that we lead here and then mainstreamed in our NHS, which I think gives investors a lot of confidence that this will be one that they can be confident that the UK is serious about purchasing as well as researching.

And now we’re looking at informatics, the truth is we cannot run a 21st century NHS on paper and cardboard, and I’m prepared to be very clear with patients about the risks of that, unless we are clear about the problem we have to solve, I don’t think we will carry the public and the press with us on the journey of digitalisation. Jeremy Hunt and I will shortly be making a series of announcements about how we tackle the regulatory, the political and the parliamentary issues around confidentiality and we will make sure in the next few years that we invest in patient benefits, apps on your phone so we can begin to get patients excited by a digital NHS because without that it will simply be more money for digitalisation of the system. We want to unleash patient power to drive this forward, focused on disease, focused on research and care pathways, and patients clamouring for more of these digital benefits, and it’s interesting that a number of companies you see in the UK are digital companies driving convergence in that field.

Let me say something about the progress that’s already happened and to make the announcement today that we’ve heralded. Since we launched this strategy collective government support has helped secure over £6 billion of new investment into the UK life science sector, linked to more than 17,000 additional jobs (1).There’s a reason this sector is growing and there’s a reason around the country people are beginning to realise this isn’t just in Cambridge, this isn’t just a niche sector, this is now going across the country and in my travels, next week I’m in Newcastle, I’ve been to Swindon, I’ve been to Milton Keynes, to South Wales, to Scotland, to Northern Ireland, this sector is driving economic recovery across the country. Our exports figures: In the first 3 quarters of 2015 UK life science exports are up 23%. Since we launched HealthcareUK 3 years ago to lead the international export mission, exporting NHS leadership and life science technologies, we’ve now secured £4.9 billion of exports and at the visits of the Chinese Premier and the Indian Prime Minister I signed with China a £2 billion life science exports deal made up of 17 individual deals, and with India a £1/4 billion deal and there’s another 3/4s that that will trigger. And 48% of university spin outs in the UK now are life science related but across a very broad digital and med-tech and device spread. And I’m delighted to see the pace of collaboration between industry and charities and universities and the formal launch next week of the Apollo Fund between 3 of our great companies: GSK, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and 3 of our great universities: Imperial, UCL and Cambridge, £40 million is a sign of the commitment of industry to this emerging translational infrastructure.

London has an absolutely key part to play in this, you’ll be surprised as a Cambridge man that I’ve been vocal in getting round the country to signal this is not just about Cambridge and it isn’t, but London, I think for too long, has been underestimated, under recognised as a biomedical powerhouse and I’m really delighted that the Mayor has really recognised, and it’s great to pay tribute and see Elliot here leading MedCity. London is not just a science powerhouse, with Imperial, with UCL and with Kings, each global ranking biomedical universities in their own right, with an extraordinary patient catchment but with this phenomenal city powerhouse of finance, high net worths, angel financing and whole range of fine-tech and extraordinary companies in that space. London has even more potential to become a global financing hub for these emerging technologies, we’re doing it in TechCity and there’s every reason we could do it in MedCity and make this country and this city not just a great place to do academic science but the place to come and get creative financing and build an insurgent 21st century life science company. This last year we’ve seen some extraordinary news, Immunocore raising £200 million, that’s the second largest ever private, biotech financing. That’s a British company, built here, designed here, British science and a wonderful team leading the world and anyone who was at JP Morgan last year and this year will have seen the level of interest that that deal alone and some of the others have done and it’s a signal of some of the low hanging fruit in our sector through the less active financing period following the 2000 crash and the early 10 years following that.

We’ve got some incredible low hanging fruit now beginning to come through the pipeline, ready and properly matured and the old problem of stuff being spun out too soon has now been reversed by some incredible technology coming to the market which has had a lot of time to mature, if I can use a wine metaphor, this is ripe and has been well treated and is ready for serious financing to go to market. If you look at Circassia raising £275 million back on the main market, sending a really powerful signal around the world that the London market is open for these companies and these technologies and the UK is building these companies. In 2015, the UK life science sector raised £1.3 billion on the main markets, including AIM, and we raised £700 million in angel and private and VC financing, those are big numbers for a sector that has deemed to have been going through a quiet restructuring and a repositioning and I think it’s not too soon to say that we are now beginning to see the re-emergence of a funding continuum.

It’s not the funding continuum that I remember when I worked in this sector 15 years ago, quite siloed, the series A over the wall to series B over the wall to the pre-IPO and then market. This is led by some serious long term investors with a deep commitment to the sector and a deep understanding of it, both angels, private, some of the longer term VC, some of the corporate venturing and now some of the new institutional investor bodies, the Neil Woodfords, the Peter Keanes coming into this sector with deep pockets and building a new generation of serious companies, properly backed to go on and do global leadership. We’ve seen some wonderful companies downstairs and if you look around the country, companies like Cell Medica, Atlas Genetics, Bicycle Therapeutics, Oxford Therapeutics, but not just in the therapeutics space, it’s companies like Abcodia doing extraordinary work on biomarkers, psychology online, some of the new companies that are doing convergence of digital, diagnostics, device and taking this convergent technology into breaking open old markets, creating new products and technologies. And I think it’s just wonderful to see the LSE leading a discussion, which I am picking up with the City Minister, on making sure the markets are ready for these companies and opening up life science firms to the LSE’s High Growth Segment with a free float as low as 10%. That is a sign that this sector and this market is serious.

Let me just close by saying something about where we go next. I hope you will have seen that in the recent funding Autumn Statement, in which the government set out it’s funding for the rest of this Parliament, no sector has done better than this. I’m not trumpeting it in Parliament, I don’t want to trigger Ministerial envy but I hope you can see that we defied some of the pundits. The Chancellor has ring-fenced the science budget and made the biggest ever historic commitment to science capital and revenue. We’re also funding the Catapult programme in cell therapy, in precision medicine and we’ve also launched 2 new: in medicines manufacturing, which industry has told us is a priority and in the medicines technology field.

The Bio Medical Catalyst, which I’m really proud to have designed 5 odd years ago, we’re looking at how we can make sure we keep that very powerful, small amount of money, but very powerful for triggering those collaborations between private and public and backing industry-led, early stage businesses. We’ve announced that we will ringfence the £1 billion a year into the NIHR, clinical infrastructure at the heart of the NHS. When you go to many of our hospitals now, downstairs you find a clinical research suite doing industry led trials, 250 odd trials going on around the UK and we’ve ringfenced that funding, it’s a big commitment. And we’ll shortly be announcing, on informatics, a major commitment in this Parliament to drive the digital healthcare agenda. The figure you heard in the Autumn Statement was £1 billion, I can tell you it’s quite a lot bigger than that and we are absolutely determined, as we have been on genomics, that this will be driven by a partnership of NHS, as the flagship, working with emerging companies to pioneer new treatments.

And we furthermore announced that genomics, a further £250 million, this was never intended to be just an extraordinary technology project, which it is, and we’re building the world’s reference library for genomic medicine. With industries coming in and partnering with that company, led by Sir John Chisholm and his team, we’ve announced another £250 million and another 2 Genomics Medicines Centres, so the NHS is now leading on turning genomics into a mainstream genomics medicine service in the 21st century NHS, so increasingly you will go into the NHS and have a molecular diagnostic test and we won’t just test for one thing, we’ll test for all, we’ll integrate it properly and we’ll have a data contract with Genomics England so they tell the NHS what traits they have discovered are now linked to particular diseases and diagnostics and the NHS will supply information from it’s extraordinary diagnostic footprint. And on digital health we are making a major commitment, not just to digitise the service but to support the digital health industry in the UK, McKinsey recently forecast that that will be worth £14 billion by 2021 and we see it as a major opportunity for this country. We are the most internet connected nation on Earth, we lead on the gaming and the technology and so much of the IT, if we can connect that creativity with our health sector then we are, we think, well positioned to be a leader in digital health.

Let me just close with these 2 commitments: We recognise that one of the things that has held this country back has been the NHS adoption and the challenge of getting the NHS, which is a brilliant producer of innovation, to become a much better adopter of technology so that we cannot just be a great place to invent but a great place to test and prove and that sits at the heart of the strategy the Prime Minister and I set out. Let me remind you what we said in 2011, every patient a research patient, every hospital a research hospital, and the Accelerated Access Review that I launched and which is about to report to me is looking fundamentally at 3 important questions: how can we help companies get to that all important point of clinical validation in the NHS? The early ‘no’ as well as the early ‘yes’. Is this going to work? Is there any chance of you buying it? We need to make the NHS a much more powerful test bed for the life science sector. Secondly, how can we reform NICE and NHS England so that as companies bring digital devices, diagnostics, targeted precision medicines, medicines that have a molecular diagnostic attached that guarantees they’ll work in different patient groups, that we have the flexible pathways to fast track them through to the right patients and we’re creative about how we reimburse and value, we need to update NICE’s methodology for the world of genomic and informatics medicine. And thirdly, how can we get better at taking a proven innovation that saves money in one bit of the NHS and rolling it out across the system? It’s just not acceptable that some innovations, after 2 or 3 years, are still not rolled out across the system.

My final point is this, that challenge of modernising the NHS, which is being led now by the NHS itself, Simon Stevens in the Five Year Forward View set out a very powerful vision for how the NHS leadership, clinical and management, intend and want to be allowed to modernise that service and we’re backing it hard, we’ve funded it and it is our great opportunity because in that the NHS is opening it’s doors to these transformational technologies to drive modernisation for the system and I think the message for the life science sector is: come to the system with innovations that help patients, help diagnostics and help the system save money by moving from a model of late stage treatment of disease to earlier stage identification, prevention and management, and you are in business and my commitment to you is the Department of Health is in business to help build that integrated healthcare economy. This is a moment to reflect on the success of last year, some really exciting and extraordinary things beginning to happen. One of the most exciting, I went last week to see McLaren using Formula 1 telemetry, 400 data points streaming off every F1 car, McLaren provide it for the entire F1 fleet and they’re now working with the NHS on helping children in Birmingham Hospital after cardiac to have wireless telemetry 24/7, constant algorithm underpinned data feeds to the nurses so the individual child monitor beeps only when that individual child has an unexpected event. And in Oxford they’re working with NHS A&E on how they can use pit lane telemetry to improve A&E performance and that is a sign of our commitment to try and build these new partnerships.

Thank you Xavier for what the stock market is doing, I really look forward, this year, to coming back and welcoming the announcement of more floats, more fundings, more IPOs and that we can sustain momentum over the next 5 years. I hope our commitment from government is really clear and it’s wonderful that with the support of the City we can begin to bring this sector really together so that institutional investors putting their money in an ISA know that it’s going to fund British leadership in healthcare technology that will have an impact on their lives. And I think that is something we can not only be financially excited about but politically and socially excited that this country is doing something very very exciting. Thank you.


(1) The estimate includes new investment committed by the UK private sector as well as inward investment by foreign-owned companies over a four year period, from the launch of the Life Science Strategy in December 2011 through December 2015.

a. UK-domiciled investment includes an estimate of private sector investment announced over the period. The amount of UK-domiciled investment is not comprehensive. There is no means of comprehensively tracking private sector investment and routine published data sources do not adequately capture this type of information for the health and life science sector. The estimate is based on major private sector projects known to the government, as well as leveraged investment and new jobs linked to the RGF. It does not include leveraged investment and jobs from other government competitions such as Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, Biomedical Catalyst & Research Partnership Investment Fund

b. Inward investment refers to new investment in the UK by foreign-owned companies in order to undertake brand new activity, or to expand existing activity. These commitments are linked to inward investment projects recorded by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in the health and life science sector during the period. The majority of these projects were directly supported by the UKTI Life Sciences Organisation and their network of overseas and subnational partners whose role is to attract inward investment to the UK.

The estimate is not comprehensive. It does not reflect annual research and development (R&D) or clinical trials spending by established domestic and foreign-owned companies in the UK, or investment linked to organic business growth.

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Press release: Full steam ahead for Midlands Engine, as Business Secretary confirms Budget support to drive growth for the region

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will today visit Birmingham City University and a former Typhoo tea factory in Birmingham, which will be renovated into a creative innovation centre.

The government will invest £14 million in STEAMhouse in Digbeth to bring together arts and culture with science, technology, engineering and maths, and drive innovation within the former factory walls.

A Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million, run by the British Business Bank to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands, has also been agreed with the government and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Driving growth in the Midlands is a key part of the government’s devolution revolution.

There are almost 96,000 more businesses now than in 2010, the equivalent to 52 opening every day. The new £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund will go further by backing even more growing businesses and creating thousands of new jobs throughout the region.

This week’s Budget drives forward the government’s vision for the Midlands Engine, and commits to supporting the development of Midlands Connect’s long-term transport strategy and the region’s traditional strengths in manufacturing and engineering.

Aerospace firms in the East Midlands will also benefit from £16 million in research and development (R&D) funding, matched by industry. This includes £7 million to help Rolls-Royce develop new high-temperature alloys in Derby.

The Midlands will also receive over £15 million funding to support R&D into lowering vehicle emissions.

Notes to Editors

  1. More information on the Budget announcements for the Midlands Engine are available in Budget 2016.
  2. The new £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund, a collaboration between British Business Bank and the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships, will contribute to efforts to rebalance the UK economy across the regions by focusing on the Midlands’ 460,000 smaller businesses.
  3. Specifically for the Midlands Engine, the Chancellor announced the government has agreed:
    • a new Mayoral Devolution Deal worth £450 million over 30 years devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire
    • that Midlands Connect will be put on a statutory footing by the end of 2018 to create a single transport body for the Midlands Engine following the £5 million investment last year
    • a raft of transport investments including £11 million to repair 214,000 potholes across the region and £1.4 million to expand car parking facilities at Market Harborough rail station
    • new Enterprise Zones at Brierley Hill, in Dudley, and Loughborough and Leicester, to attract jobs, private investment and growth in businesses
    • £16 million, matched by industry, to support aerospace firms in the East Midlands which includes £7 million to help Rolls Royce develop new machinery in Derby
    • £14 million in STEAMhouse, a creative innovation centre in Digbeth, Birmingham, bringing together arts and culture with science, technology, engineering
    • £1 million for transforming Coventry’s historic Drapers’ Hall theatre into a multi-purpose centre for the region’s musicians, including a recording studios and music library
    • £1.5 million from banking fines for the Royal British Legion, to establish a memorial to RAF Bomber Command in Lincolnshire
    • £700,000 from banking fines for Birmingham Children’s Eye Hospital, to help transform the eye department and help create the first centre for children with rare diseases and undiagnosed medical conditions
    • £200,000 for We’ll Meet Again, to establish a permanent museum in Lincolnshire to house one of the largest WW2 memorabilia collections in the UK
    • that 239 museums across the Midlands will be eligible to claim a new corporation tax relief for museums and galleries from 1 April 2017
    • £2 million to develop a regeneration master-plan for Birmingham’s Snow Hill district. This will help to maximise the potential of Snow Hill Station and the surrounding Colmore Business District. The government will also support Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to develop a proposal for a new Knowledge Quarter in the area around the Curzon Street HS2 station

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Press release: The race is on: campaign launched to name the UK’s state-of-the-art £200m polar research ship

Shackleton. Endeavour. Falcon. These are just some of the names suggested for the UK’s next world-class polar research ship as part of a campaign launched today (17 March 2016) for the public to put forward names for the state-of-the-art vessel to be built in the North West of England.

Set to set sail in 2019 and backed by £200 million of government funding, the polar research ship will be built at the world-famous Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside.

Tonne-for-tonne, the ship – together with the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) 2 existing research ships – will provide the UK with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will help put the UK at the forefront of ocean research for years to come.

Today, the Science Minister Jo Johnson is calling for school pupils, parents, teachers and adults to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity to suggest a name they would like to see on the side of the UK’s polar research ship when it takes to the seas.

Universities & Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

Can you imagine one of the world’s biggest research labs travelling to the Antarctic with your suggested name proudly emblazoned on the side? The polar research ship represents a leap forward in securing Britain’s place as a world leader in marine and climate change science – and illustrates this government’s commitment to invest in research facilities on a record scale.

With the eyes of the world on this ship, this campaign will give everyone across the UK the opportunity to feel part of this exciting project and the untold discoveries it will unearth.

The ship – which will be constructed on Merseyside – will also bring a major boost to the ship building trade in the North West, after manufacturers Cammell Laird beat off competition from companies in Europe and Far East to win the contract. The project is also expected to create around 400 jobs and 60 apprenticeships.

Operating in one of the world’s most challenging global environments – our polar regions – we’re looking for an inspirational name that exemplifies the work it will do. The ship could be named after a local historical figure, movement, or landmark – or a famous polar explorer or scientist.

Entrants can suggest as many names as they wish, with a short explanation about why this name would be suitable.

Get involved at name the polar research ship – closing date for all entries is 16 April 2016

Notes to editors

Famous polar discoveries

Polar research has a history of unearthing vital scientific breakthroughs. British Antarctic Survey scientists’ discovery of the ozone hole in the 1980s, following many decades of monitoring, was crucial to the Montreal Protocol, one of the most successful international agreements ever. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists were not only leaders in monitoring stratospheric ozone but also made important breakthroughs in understanding the atmospheric chemistry that led to ozone depletion. Our continued investment in ozone research still provides abundant evidence for policymaking.

What sort of name do we need?

We will apply to register the ship as a Royal Research Ship (RRS) so the name must be in the format RRS NAME.

Secondly, we would like the name to be inspirational and about environmental and polar science, to help us tell everyone about the amazing work the ship does.

What will the polar ship do?

Once ready in 2019, the ship will be deployed in both Antarctica and the Arctic, and will be able to spend up to 60 days in sea-ice at any one time to let scientists gather extended observations and data. The ship will also be the first British-built polar research vessel with a helideck, will open up new locations for science and will be one of the most sophisticated floating research laboratories working at the poles.

Robotic submarines and marine gliders will collect data on ocean conditions and marine biology and deliver it to scientists working in the ship’s onboard laboratories. Airborne robots and onboard environmental monitoring systems will provide detailed information on the surrounding polar environment.

Want to get involved?

Have a look at the suggestions made so far and add your own. The closing date for all entries is 16 April 2016. The final name will be selected by NERC.

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Speech: Rising to the top: why the government is committed to apprenticeships

Thanks Lizzie.

As a minister I give a lot of speeches at a lot of venues.

Normally they’re in dull conference centres or anonymous lecture theatres.

So this is really something else!

I’m a bit worried everyone’s going to be concentrating on the view rather than on what I have to say. Although I’m sure some people would call it a welcome distraction!

I’m not a big guy, either, so this a rare opportunity for me to look down on Nick Boles!

He’s down there somewhere…

The whole of London is spread out below us.

I can see everywhere I’ve worked in this great city, from the Square Mile to Westminster.

And when you were staring out of the windows before the event began, you could see all those tiny little trains and buses snaking their way through the capital.

They’re carrying millions of people on their way to work, to school, to university.

And thousands more young Londoners will be on their way to an apprenticeship.

Now for too long, apprenticeships were seen as a second-best option.

A safety net for kids who didn’t make it to A-levels or university.

But we know that’s not true.

We know apprenticeships are real jobs, paying a real wage and providing a real education.

We know they’re an excellent way for young people to gain the skills they need to compete and for employers to develop the leaders of tomorrow.

Some of the apprentices travelling to work down below will be heading to Google, or Burberry, or Pinewood Studios.

Others will be on their way to Nestle and John Lewis.

Further afield they’ll be clocking on to maintain giant jet engines at Rolls Royce, or to build Typhoon fighters at BAE.

Today we’re joined by Starbucks, Greene King, Deloitte, Prezzo, Fortnum & Mason and Goldman Sachs.

And all of them will be announcing significant plans to take on more apprentices of their own.

Apprenticeships are an incredible opportunity for people who want to achieve incredible things.

And that’s why this government is giving them the respect they deserve.

In the last Parliament we saw more than 2.5 million people start apprenticeships.

In this one we’re going to create at least 3 million more.

Think about what that means.

Millions of young people unlocking a new career.

Millions of young people gaining the experience, qualifications and business knowledge that can take them anywhere.

Millions of young people learning the skills they need to rise to the top of the 21st century jobs market.

And think about the hundreds of thousands of employers who will benefit.

The successful companies that can plug a skills gap with British workers rather than looking overseas.

The small businesses that can take on and train up the new staff they need in order to grow.

I mention small businesses for a reason.

Many larger employers have already recognised the benefits of offering apprenticeships.

But too many small and medium-sized firms, the backbone of our economy, are still missing out.

So I’m pleased to see the National Apprenticeship Service working closely with groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chambers of Commerce.

In turn, they’re asking their members to make a commitment to apprenticeships.

And together we’re showing how every business, no matter how small, no matter how niche, can see a real return on investment when they take on an apprentice.

Larger employers, meanwhile, are getting set up for the new Apprenticeship Levy.

It’s going to arrive next year and I know there’s been a bit of concern about this.

Some people see it as an extra tax, an extra burden.

But it’s really nothing to be afraid of.

For starters, it will only affect the very biggest companies, those with a pay bill of £3 million or more.

That’s less than 2% of employers, those at the very top.

I know how hard it is to run a small business, how many demands you face.

How the last thing you need or want is someone from the government turning up with another bright idea!

But if that’s you, don’t worry – you’re not going to be affected by the new levy at all.

And if you ARE in the top 2%, I don’t want you to worry either!

The levy is simply a straightforward way of funding the increase in high quality apprenticeship training.

It will be set at 0.5% of your pay bill and will be collected via PAYE.

Control of the money it raises will be put in the hands of employers, so they can use it to deliver the training they need.

There won’t be someone sat in Whitehall handing out grants or telling you how to spend it.

And if you’re really committed to training you’ll even be able to get back more than you put in.

The whole thing will be managed and run through the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

But it’s a lot more than an online bank account.

Through the service, employers will be able to choose an apprenticeship training course, choose a training provider, even find the right candidate to take on.

And in future, all employers of all sizes will have access to the service – regardless of whether they’re big enough to pay in to it.

Of course, if you’re paying for something you want to know it’s worth the money.

It would be easy for us to hit our 3 million target by piling up cheap but useless training courses.

But that’s not going to help employers or apprentices.

We need apprenticeships that are relevant, challenging and fit for purpose.

And we need them to be respected, valued, and held in esteem by employers, individuals and wider society.

In short, we need apprenticeships that we are all proud of.

That’s why quality has always been more important to us than quantity.

That’s why we’re protecting the term ‘apprenticeship’, so cowboy operators can’t use it.

And that’s why we’re creating an Institute for Apprenticeships.

The Institute will support the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.

It will act as the guarantor of quality in the system. It will do this entirely independently of government.

And it will be up and running by around this time next year.

I grew up on Stapleton Road in Bristol, which a tabloid once dubbed ‘Britain’s most dangerous street’.

Sure, it wasn’t exactly salubrious, but the people I knew around there weren’t bad, or lazy, or stupid.

More often than not they just lacked the opportunities that many take for granted.

My school careers advisor told me I should set my sights no higher an entry-level job at Radio Rentals.

But he didn’t say that because he thought I could learn a trade and get qualifications.

He was just telling me what kids from Stapleton Road were expected to do.

We didn’t go to university – we simply left school at 16 and got ourselves a low-paid, low-skilled job.

In 2016, I’m not prepared to tolerate that attitude.

Every young person has the potential to succeed, and everyone should have the opportunity to succeed.

This Apprenticeship Week, I want to see government and business come together to make that happen.

I want us to deliver high-quality, employer-led training.

I want us to create the highly skilled workforce Britain needs.

And I want us to give ALL of Britain’s young people the opportunity they need to rise to the top.

Thank you.

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Press release: UK businesses report boost in innovation

More UK businesses than ever before are coming up with new ideas and products, according to official statistics released today (11 March 2016).

The statistics, based on a survey of almost 30,000 employers between 2012 to 2014, show over half (53%) of UK businesses are actively engaging in developing and introducing new products and ways of making them, as well as new services and ways of doing business. Up 8% in 2 years alone.

The positive figures come after Business Secretary Sajid Javid set out his goal to make the UK a world leader in new ideas and innovation – helping to drive up competition, creating jobs and providing new and improved products and services – with a new national innovation plan.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

From new disruptive business models to driverless cars, innovation can not only revolutionise the way we live our lives, it can bring real opportunities for businesses to tap into and grow. That is why we are determined to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and start a company.

And these figures show that businesses throughout the UK are already leading the way, delivering exciting opportunities across the nation. The number of companies innovating and coming up with new, dynamic ideas is on the rise – up 8 percentage points between 2012 and 2014, with over half of businesses now developing new products and services, some with the potential to revolutionise their industries.

Yorkshire and the Humber leads the UK for innovative businesses, with almost two-thirds of businesses engaged in innovation in the region. The East Midlands is also well above the UK average at 57%, and the West Midlands has seen one of the largest increases in business led innovation, up 12 percentage points over 2 years.

The figures also show how important innovation is to global business success. 28% of innovative businesses were exporting abroad; bringing new British products like advanced medical scanners chargers to an international market. That compares to only 10% of non-innovating businesses.

More information and a breakdown of statistics is available at UK innovation survey 2015: headline findings

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News story: Minister celebrates dramatic growth in apprenticeships

Addressing the House of Commons ahead of next week’s National Apprenticeship Week, Minister Nick Boles celebrated apprentices as one of the great successes of the decade.

The number of people starting higher apprenticeships that deliver the technical skills the UK economy vitally needs has grown significantly. Across England there were 19,800 starts on higher apprenticeships in 2014 to 2015, an increase of 115% on the previous year.

The government is working with employers and further education providers to help more businesses make apprentices part of their growth strategy and through the new apprenticeship levy, will be doubling in cash terms the annual level of spending on apprenticeships between 2010 to 2011 and 2019 to 2020 to £2.5 billion.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

We want to give all young people a chance to make the most of their talents and create a better life for themselves. That’s exactly why we are committed to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

Businesses and colleges should be congratulated for helping apprenticeships move from strength to strength. I am hugely proud of the success we have achieved together and look forward to even more young people getting the chance to work hard and get on.

At the heart of the apprenticeship drive is the principle that no one better understands the skills employers need than employers themselves. Employers have been given the power to develop new apprenticeships, which clearly and simply set out what an apprentice must learn. There are now more than 1,300 employers involved in developing new apprenticeships as part of the successful Trailblazer initiative.

The government also plans to launch the new independent, employer-led, Institute for Apprenticeships. The Institute will regulate the quality of apprenticeships in England, taking on responsibility for approving new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. Only standards that are valued by employers will be approved and funded.

Nick Boles also pledged to press on with reforms to boost the number of quality apprenticeships – with England still lagging behind countries such as Germany and Australia.

National Apprenticeship Week begins on 14 March 2016 and celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Throughout the week, hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to encourage more employers and young people to find out about apprenticeships.

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Press release: £325 million coffee factory and £50 million energy research centre bring jobs boost for Midlands

A new coffee production facility in Staffordshire was officially opened by Business Secretary Sajid Javid today (10 March 2016), creating a total of 425 jobs and boosting the Midlands economy.

Nestlé already employs nearly 1,000 people at its Tutbury site, and its total £325 million investment is recognition of the highly-skilled labour force, which includes manufacturing and engineering apprentices. The factory now produces 40 million cups of coffee every day, making Tutbury one of the world’s most productive coffee factories. Nearly 90% of all coffee capsules produced at the site are exported to Brazil, Italy, Mexico and the USA amongst others.

In a further boost for the region, Business Secretary Sajid Javid also officially opened the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick. The EIC is leading global research into new battery cell technology which will support the growth of electric and hybrid vehicle use, backed by £9 million funding from government and an additional £4 million from the automotive industry. By 2020, it is estimated that the electric and hybrid vehicle battery market will be worth £250 million for the UK.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

The investments made by Nestlé and the Warwick Manufacturing Group are tangible signs of the strength and energy of the Midlands economy. The Midlands Engine is home to a diverse range of exciting businesses and universities, so it’s no surprise the economy here has been outperforming the rest of the country since 2010.

The region is already worth £222 billion each year to the UK economy and if it matches the predicted growth rate for the UK over the next 15 years, it could create 300,000 jobs and boost the national economy by £34 billion.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland said:

Today’s opening is a proud moment for Nestlé and for me personally. It represents a very significant investment in our Tutbury factory which is now a true centre of excellence for our coffee business.

We are taking the UK’s productivity challenge incredibly seriously at Nestlé and this investment has made Tutbury one of our best examples of that. We have made processes more efficient, given our employees new skills and equipped them with state-of-the-art machinery with which to do their job.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG Chairman said:

I am delighted that the Secretary of State has opened our Energy Innovation Centre. Electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of automotive and WMG is at the forefront of this research. We have a long history of research impact in hybrid, electric and low carbon vehicles which he has been able to see first-hand.

Today’s visit follows the visit by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011 when the company announced a £110 million investment into the Nescafé Dolce Gusto manufacturing facility to expand production capacity and create 300 new jobs. Today’s opening is the latest stage of a further £215 million investment in a state-of-the-art freeze drying plant at the site, bringing together freeze dried, spray dried and warehousing on one site.

WMG was founded by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and the new EIC has been specifically established by the Automotive Council to provide a strategic a one-stop-shop for the development of new battery chemistries from concept to fully proven traction batteries, available in sufficient quantities for industrial scale testing.

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Press release: Pubs Code Adjudicator appointed

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, has appointed Paul Newby as Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA). The PCA will have responsibility for enforcing the Statutory Pubs Code.
The Pubs Code will govern the relationship between large pub-owning businesses and their tied tenants in England and Wales.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

I am very pleased to be able to announce Paul Newby as the independent Pubs Code Adjudicator. He has a wealth of experience in arbitration and is sensitive to the challenges that the pub industry faces. The Pubs Code will ensure the 12,000 tied tenants of the 6 largest pub-owning companies can secure a fair deal and a better livelihood.

Paul Newby has been appointed following open competition for the role. He said:

My role as a Chartered Surveyor in the pubs sector for over 30 years has given me an in-depth knowledge of the property market and prevailing business models. I have advised on rents, rent reviews, lease renewals and landlord and tenant issues, as well as being involved in dispute resolution across these areas as an expert witness, arbitrator and independent expert. These involvements have included advising both tied pub tenants and pub company landlords. This along with my experience of Code of Practice accreditation provides me with a balanced view of the stakeholder interests. I believe this will assist me in implementing the Pubs Code and creating effective relationships in the Adjudicator role.

Paul Newby will take up his role on 2 May 2016 in line with the government’s commitment to introduce the Statutory Pubs Code by the end of May 2016. He will be based in Birmingham.

As PCA Mr Newby will have powers to arbitrate individual disputes about breaches of the Pubs Code, including disputes on rent and market rent only options, and to provide redress. He will also investigate suspected systemic breaches of the Code more widely across the sector – and to impose sanctions, including financial penalties. Alongside this he will provide advice and guidance about the Code.

The government has also today (10 March 2016) announced a £3.62 million support programme to help people take control of their local pubs. This jointly funded programme between the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Power to Change Trust will help community groups take over the running of their pub from early stage advice to a wrap-round package of grants and loans.

Community Pubs Minister Marcus Jones said:

Paul Newby is an excellent appointment which will hugely improve the relationship between landlords and tenants and help to cement the Great British pub at the heart of our local communities.

Notes to editors

  1. Biography of Paul Newby – From 1969 to 1977 Paul Newby attended Solihull School, where he is now a Governor, with primary responsibility for the school’s property endowment. Subsequently in Sheffield he obtained an Honours Degree in Urban Land Economics, graduating in 1981. Paul qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1983, and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 1993. He has worked in private practice for more than 30 years, the majority of that time in the public house, hospitality and leisure markets. Paul qualified as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1996, and has been a member of the RICS President’s panels of Arbitrators and Independent Experts since 2001 and 2003 respectively. He is an RICS Registered Valuer and an RICS Accredited Mediator, a co-author and panel member of PIRRS and served on the BIIBAS Code of Practice Benchmarking Committee from 2010 to 2015.
  2. The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Act 2015, requires the Secretary of State to introduce a statutory Pubs Code. The Code will govern the relationship between large pub-owning businesses (those that own 500 or more tied pubs) and their tied tenants. The Act also provides for a new independent Adjudicator to enforce the Code. The Code and Adjudicator measures will be introduced through secondary legislation.
  3. The government consultation on the pubs code closed on 18 January 2016. A full response will be published in due course.
  4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. The appointee Paul Newby has not been involved in any political activity in the last 5 years.
  5. This appointment is made in accordance with the code of practice for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). The appointment is made for an initial term of 4 years.
  6. Paul is currently serving his notice period with his current employer, and is therefore not accepting media requests prior to taking up the Adjudicator’s role in May 2016.
  7. For more information on the £3.62 million community pub support package, please contact Amina Makele at the Press Office for Department for Communities and Local Government – or Newsdesk number 0303 4441201.

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Press release: Sunday trading set to benefit economy to the tune of £1.5 billion

New figures published today (9 March 2015) show that extended Sunday trading hours would benefit the UK economy by an estimated £1.5 billion over 10 years.

The £1.5 billion figure could be even higher, depending on the decisions made by local authorities once the powers have been devolved.

The saving from being able to increase the use of existing large stores is expected to benefit consumers as a result of competitive pressure. This would be equivalent to around £29 per household, in areas that fully take advantage of extended Sunday trading hours.

This is part of a package of government measures to devolve Sunday trading laws to local authorities allowing councils to ‘zone’ any relaxation so they will be able to prioritise high streets and city centres.

The measures also include greater freedoms for shop workers in England, Scotland and Wales to ‘opt-out’ of working Sundays if they choose to, for example because they object on religious grounds or for family reasons.

Shop workers will now be able to give just 1 month’s notice to large shops that they no longer want to work Sundays, down from the previous 3 months, and will have a new right to opt out of working additional hours. The government will also strengthen the duty on employers to notify employees of their rights about working on Sundays.

Communities Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Current Sunday trading rules are badly out of date and haven’t kept up with how we live our lives.

This report shows how handing Sunday trading decision-making back to local people has clear benefits – both for shoppers, giving them the flexibility to shop when and where they want, and for businesses, boosting their potential for increased sales.

That’s why we want to change the rules, so families can shop for longer, town centre stores can compete with the online giants, and more jobs are created for working people.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

It should be up to councils to decide what is right for their communities. They know their businesses large and small and their residents.

Shop workers will get more protections under our plans for those that do not want to work Sundays and if people want to work longer, they will have that flexibility.

Twenty years ago, when the current Sunday trading laws were established, few people used the internet and town centre shops had no competition from online retailers. However in 2015, online sales continued to grow with a 15% increase.

The plans are widely supported by councils, leading retailers, and business leaders. Reviving the nation’s high streets is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Notes to editors

Extended Sunday trading hours across England and Wales could generate an extra £1.5 billion over 10 years to the economy, according to the government’s impact assessment which has been published today (9 March 2016).

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