IET react to Autumn Budget 2021
Simon Edwards, Director of Governance and External Engagement at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), comments on today’s UK Government budget.
“Today’s budget announced a number of new initiatives, including increased skills spending by £3.8bn over the Parliament to expand T Levels and apprenticeships.
“This investment in skills is vital if the UK’s ambitions on innovation, net zero, infrastructure and digitalisation are to be realised. Put simply, if we do not have the number and diversity of people with engineering and technical skills needed to deliver these ambitions, we will fail.
“The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in school-age education, hugely disrupted further and higher education, and risks reducing the diversity of young people going into engineering. This investment in skills will help us plan for the long-term engineering and technical skills we need, with an education system fit for the future.”
“It’s disappointing the Government has delayed the important R&D target for two years. If we are to remain globally competitive and achieve our net zero targets, we must prioritise measures now that encourage businesses to invest in R&D in the UK.
“We urge the Government to review this decision at the earliest opportunity to ensure we get back on track not only to help universities and businesses build back better, but also to sustainably grow the capability and capacity of the R&D system to ensure this and future investment delivers the best returns for the economy and society.”
“The importance of decarbonising buildings came through clearly in today’s budget with an investment of £3.9 billion.
“It is vital that this is prioritised for low-carbon retrofit and refurbishment of the existing building stock, prioritising low-carbon heat including establishing a programme of training and competence in retrofit, low-carbon heat.”