Cogent, the Sector Skills Council for the chemicals and pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, nuclear, petroleum and polymer industries, has secured £1m in public funding for projects to upskill the workforce in those fields.
The projects are part of a plan resulting from of a two-year Cogent investigation into skills gaps and shortages, which identified what training inputs were needed to tackle the skills crisis facing Cogent’s industries.
They also support the recommendations of the recent Leitch Review, which said that upskilling the UK workforce would result in a potential net benefit to the UK economy of at least £80bn over 30 years.
Joanna Woolf, Cogent chief executive, said: “Skills gaps and shortages are the biggest challenge facing the Cogent industries. UK manufacturing cannot match the low labour costs of our fast-emerging competitor economies.
“We must now compete on quality and innovation and that means improving the skills base has become an imperative in these science-based industries.”
The projects are a national skills academy, reforming vocational qualifications, and a training programme for the composites industry.