The first month of the new year brings the education sector two big issues to navigate: the introduction of another national lockdown and digesting details of the long-awaited UK-EU trade deal.
On national lockdown we know that the sector, alongside businesses across the economy, will be impacted significantly. You can find the latest COVID-19 guidance and business support on the CBI Coronavirus Hub or join our CBI @10am webinars for the latest insights and updates. In the days ahead the CBI will continue to urge governments across the UK to revisit how they build on the vital support already provided in the early weeks of January.
There are many issues still to clarify on the UK’s new relationship with the EU, and this month's update seeks to set out the major changes for the education sector. We will of course continue to update members as more detail emerges and welcome any initial feedback you may have.
UK universities and businesses to maintain access to Horizon Europe
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union brought confirmation that the UK will participate in Horizon Europe, the EU’s headline research and innovation programme. The new programme will have a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027.
For universities and research bodies, the broad continuation of previous arrangements can bring confidence and security, with UK organisations treated like those within an EU member state in almost all cases. Increasing participation by UK universities will be important to improving value for money for the UK contribution, with Ministers scheduled to review the terms of Britain’s participation in 2024.
The CBI welcome this announcement and ongoing participation as the best means of strengthening the UK’s innovation ecosystem.
Please contact Aaron Revel for further information on matters relating to higher education and R&D. For further guidance on how the new relationship between the UK and EU affects your organisation, visit the UK Transition Hub.
Turing Scheme launched as an ambitious UK alternative to Erasmus
The conclusion of UK-EU negotiations also resulted in the announcement of the new ‘Turing Scheme’. This £100 million fund replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus + and will aim to support 35,000 students to go on placements and exchanges annually from September 2021.
Participation in the Erasmus programme has been immensely successful in attracting students to live and work in the UK, boosting economic growth, providing access to global talent, and enhancing UK soft power. The Turing Scheme must build upon this success, play a vital role in increasing the value of education exports, and dovetail with the UK’s new points-based immigration system.
The CBI want to hear from you on how the Turing Scheme can enable universities and the economy to reap the benefits from student mobility and support the government’s ambitions on international education exports.
Please contact Aaron Revel on matters relating to higher education, international students and immigration.
CBI to launch Green Skills project to support UK climate objectives
The government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution published in November 2020, set out plans to support green jobs and accelerate the path to net-zero emissions. This included helping people train for green jobs, notably through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.
In delivering this plan, it will be vital for the government to work in partnership with both firms and providers in developing the skills pipeline for the green economy, and supporting workers employed in transitioning industries.
The CBI will shortly be launching a project exploring ‘green skills’ in the UK and want to hear from whose who have expertise or interest in this area. In particular, the project will focus on three key areas:
- Where the skills gaps lie
- The success of current policy
- Regional collaboration and priorities
If you would like further information or to be involved, please contact Nic Trower.
In other news
- After urging the government for an agreement throughout negotiations, the CBI welcomed the UK-EU Brexit Deal as “a huge relief to British business at a time when resilience is at an all-time low”.
- The government has updated guidance for education providers as a result of a third national lockdown. This confirms that school and colleges will close, and summer examinations will not go ahead as planned. Universities have been instructed to provide face-to face teaching for only a small number of critical courses, until at least mid-February. To feedback on the impact of disruption on education providers, please contact Alex Hall-Chen.
- The Kickstart scheme to support employment opportunities for young people continues to be rolled out. The CBI is keen to hear from members about their experience of the scheme and have created an FAQ document to answer your questions. To provide feedback or for further information, please contact Alex Hall-Chen.
- With the pandemic hitting youth employment prospects particularly hard, the CBI is interested in hearing from members about how they are supporting youth employability. We are particularly keen to hear feedback from SMEs. For more information, please contact Alex Hall-Chen.
- Following the publication of our learning for life report, we want to hear from members who are planning their own reskilling strategy, whether that is to fill current skills gaps or to train for changes that will appear down the line. For more information, please contact Nic Trower.