08 March 2017
IChemE responds to the UK government's Spring Budget
In response to the UK Chancellor’s Spring Budget, Jon Prichard, Chief Executive at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), said:
“This was a budget speech delivered against a backdrop of great uncertainty, brought on by Brexit. The Chancellor was right to highlight once again Britain’s relatively poor productivity record compared with our major competitors. Substantial investment in training and infrastructure is needed, and chemical engineers eagerly await the emergence of the government’s £23 billion industrial strategy.
“Three parts of the speech immediately stand out.
- The announcement of technical qualifications is a major step forward, and the creation of ‘T-Levels’ is a promising development that will be welcomed by employers in the sectors that depend on chemical process technologies and engineering technicians.
- The additional £300 million for 1,000 new PhDs in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) subjects, coupled with the £270 million investment in R&D for disruptive technologies including biotechnology.
- The positive impact of the Soft Drinks Levy is a good illustration of the way in which appropriately designed legislation can drive innovation in industry and deliver better health outcomes. Manufacturers are reformulating sugar out of their products with the help of chemical process engineers.
"As usual the devil is in the detail; nonetheless IChemE will continue to work closely with other professional engineering institutions to provide the strongest possible evidence base to support effective government policy-making.”