The science industries’ £52m skills and talent initiative, the Science Industry Partnership (SIP) – facilitated by Cogent Skills – has announced it surpassed 2,000 new people being trained as the initiative reaches its first anniversary this month.
That includes a range of employers in the chemicals sector now benefitting from Government investment for people development and training designed by and for employers in the sector.
Some 55 percent of these learners are working in Industrial Sciences, says SIP, including chemicals, industrial biotechnology, polymers and advanced materials and coatings and 45 percent are working in the Life Sciences sector – which includes pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology and consumer healthcare.
The total investment is made up of a Government contribution of £32.6 million, with £20 million from employers, alongside £31 million employer in-kind contributions – including time and resources.
The SIP board – led by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), along with representatives from other leading science sector companies – are now urging organisations not yet participating in the employer-led skills initiative to start the process in this new financial year, as co-funding available via the SIP pilot will end in March 2016.
PET-specialist, Lotte Chemical UK, has benefiited from the SIP initiative, with the Redcar-based company increasing the number of apprenticeships and graduate training programmes, whilst also increasing the level of training and development of its existing employees through the workforce development programme.
Stephen Trillo, HR OD Director of Lotte Chemical, member of the SIP Board and Chair of the North East SIP Skills Council said: “As an ex-apprentice I am passionate about the development of people, apprenticeships and graduate development as I know they provide great opportunities and lifeline careers. As a Board member working with the NE Skills Council, we are striving to drive the skills agenda in the North East, with many companies already actively involved.”
Cogent Skills – the strategic skills partner to science sector employers – has heralded the SIP’s first-year success as a significant step in its own “2020 vision” for the UK to attain world-leading capabilities in science sector innovation and growth in the next five years.